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Us 91, Boehner 29, Washington 28, Cap 25, United States 22, America 14, United States Senate 13, Greece 10, Coburn 9, U.s. 6, John Boehner 6, D.c. 5, Mr. Reid 5, Mr. Manchin 4, Harry Reid 4, Nancy Pelosi 4, Ireland 4, Britain 4, North Dakota 4, New York 4,
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  CSPAN    Tonight From Washington    News/Business. News.  

    July 22, 2011
    6:30 - 11:00pm EDT  

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bare minimum, that's the floor of what the american people expect us to do. i would like to do more and when i meet with the leadership tomorrow, i'm going to say, let's do more. but if they tell me that's the best they can do, then i will sign an extension that goes to 2013 and i will make the case to the american people that we have to continue going out there and solving this problem. it's the right thing to do and it's time to do it. we can't keep putting it off. >> speaker boehner didn't return phone calls this afternoon? could you elaborate. >> i'm less concerned about me having to wait for my phone call return than i am the message i received when i got the phone call. >> the markets are closed right now. what assurances can you give to people on wall street and are
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you going to be reaching out to the people on wall street? >> it's important that the leadership understands that wall street will be opening on monday. >> what can you say to people who work on wall street that might find this is a bit alarming perhaps? >> i think what you should say -- well, here's what i would say, i remain confident that we will get an extension of the debt limit and not default. i'm confident of that. i'm less confident at this point that people are willing to step up to the plate and actually deal with the underlying problem with debts and deficits. that requires tough choices. that's what we were sent here to do. i mean the debt ceiling, that's a formality. historically, this hasn't even
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been an issue. it's an unpleasant vote but it's a vote that congress does periodically. it was done 18 times when ronald reagan was president. he said it is not an option and would be damaging to the prestige of the united states. and we shouldn't even consider it. so that's the easy part. we should have done that six months ago. the hard part is actually dealing with the underlying debt and deficits. and doing it in a way that's fair. that's all the american people are looking for, some fairness. i can't tell you how many letters and emails i get, including from republican voters, who say, look, we know that neither party is blameless when it comes to how this debt and deficit developed. there has been a lot of blame to spread around, but we sure hope
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you just don't balance the budget on the backs of seniors. we sure hope that we're not slashing our commitment to make sure kids can go to college. we sure hope that we aren't throwing a bunch of poor kids off the medicaid rolls so they can't get preventative services that keep them out of the emergency room. that's all they are looking for is some fairness. what you're going to hear, i suspect, is well, you know -- if the senate is prepared to pass the cap, cut and balance bill, the republican plan, then somehow we can solve this problem, it turns out actually that the plan that speaker boehner and i were talking about was comparable in terms of deficit reduction. the difference was that we didn't put all the burden on the people who were least able to
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protect themselves, who don't have lobbyists in this town, who don't have lawyers working on the tax code for them, working stiffs out there, ordinary folks who are struggling every day. and they know they are getting a raw deal and they are mad at everybody about it. mad at democrats and mad at republicans because they know somehow that no matter how hard they work, they don't seem to be able to keep up, and what they are looking for is for someone willing to look out for them. that's all they're looking for. and you know, for us to not keep those folks in mind every single day when we're up here, for us to be more worried about what some talk radio show host says or what some columnist says or what pledge we signed back when
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we were trying to run or worrying about having a primary fight, for us to be thinking in those terms instead of thinking about those folks? it's inexcuseable. the american people are just desperate for folks who are willing to put aside politics just for a minute and try to get some stuff done. so when nora asked or somebody else asked, you know, why was i willing to go along with the deal that wasn't optimal from my perspective is because even if i didn't think the deal was perfect, at least it would show that this place is serious. that we are willing to take on responsibilities even when it's tough. that we are willing to step up even when the folks who helped get us elected may disagree.
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and at some point, i think if you want to be a leader, then you got to lied. thank you very much. -- then you got to lead. thank you very much. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> john boehner said he was walking away from talks because of disagreements over tax increases and entitlements. the president had asked for a plan from congress and announced he is calling for congressional leaders to meet at 11:00 a.m. tomorrow morning. the treasury department said the u.s. will go into default august 2. speaker boehner said a deal was never really close and he was ending discussions with the white house and beginning conversations with the senate. here are some of the speaker's comments from earlier today.
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>> american people sees they see politicians spending their money. we are broke and need to stop the out-of-control spending. the house has acted. we passed a bill that raised the debt limit, cut spending, puts real reforms in place and requires a balanced budget amendment. it is called cut, cap and balance. we have done our job. the democrats around washington have done nothing. they can't stop spending the american people's money. they won't and they have refused. senate majority leader says they won't offer a plan to cut spending or a plan to raise the
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debt limit. frankly, that's irresponsible. mr. speaker, where's their plan? president obama talked about being the adult in the room. where's his plan to cut spending and raise the debt limit. listen, we are in the fourth quarter here. we are fighting for jobs. we are fighting for the country's future and we are fighting for the american people. i yield back. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> read the speaker's statement. those will be up on our main page at c-span.org. >> you are watching c-span bringing you politics and public affairs. every morning, "washington journal," live call-in program of the day. weekdays watch live coverage of the u.s. house. also supreme court oral arguments.
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on the weekends see our interview programs. on saturdays, "communicators". you can watch our programming any time at c-span.org. and it's searchable at our video library. c-span, your way, a public service, created by america's public cable companies. >> this weekend on book tv on c-span2, literacy, economics and humor. a few of the panels from our live coverage of the harlem book fair. >> book tv schedule is on book tv.org.
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>> we visit the civil war this weekend on american history tv on c-span3. sunday, we are live from the manassas battlefield, with call-in programs beginning at 11:00 a.m. eastern including a preffesor on lincoln and his france formation and watch civil war programs throughout the weekend. a historian looks at the factors that led to the onset of the war and historians discuss the challenges that faced the north and south as they prepared their forces for battle. get the schedule at c-span.org/history. >> the british parliament is in recess for the rest of the summer. the house of commons returns in september. next, a look back at the major debates over the last few weeks.
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this is one hour called "the record review" surrounding the british phone hacking scandal and the debate on banning wild animals in british circuses. >> hello and welcome to this special edition of "the record review" when we look back at parliament, a term that has seen some distinguished guests and rigorous questioning and political drama. >> for the grand some -- grandson -- >> this is a shocking mess. in fact, it's a scandal. >> did you ever receive payments from any news organization? >> absolutely not.
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i can't believe you suggested that. >> and the fact that we do not democratic legitimacy undermines our capacity to act as a check and balance. >> i'm amazed that the prime minister doesn't know about these arguments. the house of commons is voting on this bill tonight. he can't ask about strikes because he is in the party of the unions. >> as parliament returned after easter, they were off again enjoying a long weekend break and the eyes were focused on westminster. the fuss was about the other large building, westminster abbey. the commons had a few appropriate words. >> mr. speaker, perhaps i could use this opportunity to thank the officials in my department for the hard work they have done on the royal wedding and wish them great joy on their day. i know the secretary of state is much looking forward to
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attending the wedding tomorrow and will he tweet throughout it. >> i would like to read a couple of lines against the nation's greatest playwrights. and this is by shakespeare. >> love that still and then our love meet for my name is will. >> and next day, a special friday holiday, the ceremony went ahead without a hitch in front of a worldwide audience of billions. they became man and wife. they had a new british royal sweetheart and this was their favorite image of the day. another national event, a referendum on changing the voting system. they voted no. in scotland what else and all of
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ireland, they were electing new members. and the results varied between surprising and stunning. in wales, they celebrated taking control of the national assembly. in northern ireland, there was a triumph for peter robinson. and the most notable result came in scotland. outside control of the parliament. sparking a force about a referendum one day soon on scottish independence. in twern these events, a huge global event happened. in the early hours of the first of may, osama bin laden, probably the world's most wanted man was shot dead by american special forces. osama bin laden had been living in a protected mansion house in pakistan just an hour away from islama bad. they raided the congresswoman
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pound. and in the burst of gun fire, the al qaeda leader was killed and his body buried at sea. as america celebrated and the world wondered about retaliation . >> we should remember in particular the brave servicemen and women who gave their lives against terrorism across the world and pay tribute to the british forces who played their part over the last decade in the hunt for bin laden. he was responsible for 9/11. which was not only a horrific killing of americans but remains to this day the largest loss of british life in any terrorist attack. as a head of a family group of flight 93 put it, we are willing to make an exception in this case. he was evil personified and our world is a better place without him. >> while understanding the
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satisfaction and elation of those who lost family members on 9/11, my friend agrees that the sober reality is that some things are unchanged by the death of osama bin laden. the threat remains and jihad must be confronted and adequate resources, effective international cooperation and good intelligence remain essential. >>. i think if this country is going to finance support and encourage, then the pakistani government is to come clean about what's happened. >> the reaction of the commons to the death of osama bin laden. this is only one part of the pal as of westminster. and that part we might call the
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posh end, better known as the house of lords and after committees and inquire yes, sir, the latest blueprint was unveiled by the deputy prime minister to replace the current appointeds house but support for the plan was thin. rfer second chamber will have a democratic mandate. it will be much more accountable as a result. >> after 12 months in office, putting up proposals. >> do you not agree that it would be a sounder approach to decide what we want the house of lords to do, what it should be before we decide how it's made up, otherwise we are in the situation of picking the team before we decided what game it's going to play. >> isn't this yet another tacky
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road show brought to us by the same people who thought the british people wanted the alternative vote, an elected lord is a strong lord and that strengthens parliament as a whole and does he not find it ridiculous that after 13 years of failure, the din saw ares over there are resurrecting the dinosaurs up there. >> when they discussed the plans, some cued up to speak. >> preserve the coalition for five years and create jobs for the boys and girls and send us as quietly as possible into the yard. >> it is the question of powers, my lords, that is the fault line into which this bill, this draft bill will seek. >> what is before us is a dog's breakfast. all the previous reforms of the house of lords, 1911, 1949,
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1958, 1999, all of them have tilted the balance away from the house of lords towards the house of commons. the difference with this one, it tilts it the other way for the first time. we are going to have a house that is going to be elected and will attract more power to itself. >> i cannot imagine that the decisions to take this country to war would have got through a chamber that was elected on a different mandate on a different period and with a different set of political worth in this chamber than the one that existed in the other end. the truth of the other is, we performed the function, but that's not our only function but we are part of the checks and balances in this country and the fact we don't have democratic legitimacy undermines our capacity to act as a check and balance. the powers of this house are unlimited. do they understand in the other
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place just what we are capable of doing if we have democratic legitimacy? >> i myself am not against a house of lords. i have been in favor of an elected second chamber and i'm more in favor of an elected second chamber since i have sat here for nearly a year. >> nothing has been done for 100 years and nothing needed to be done. >> the arguments over reforming the house of lords and if the government does end up disk its plans for having elections, it wouldn't too unusual because what has been a feature of the summer term is a what has been seen as a series of bad turns by the prime minister. >> i'm not releasing --
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>> he suggested in a radio interview that it could be decided between less serious rape and serious rape. the labour leader -- >> he should look at the comments of the justice secretary and the justice secretary should not be in his post at the end of today. >> now. now. >> that's the first thing. the second thing he has to do is to drop this policy, because this policy that they are defending is the idea that if you plead guilty to rape, you get your sent tense halved and the rapeist could have spent as little as 16 months in prison. that is not an acceptable policy. >> the plea bargaining is used in systems, including very tough
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criminal justice systems like america. and the aim of plea bargaining is to make sure that more people get prosecuted, more people get convicted and actually saves the victim from having to go through a court process and find out in the end that the culprit is going to commit a guilty plea at the last minute. when we announce our conclusion, you need to be patient until we do that. >> mr. speaker, we are getting used to this and this is a terrible policy. and he hides behind it. and it's not good enough. >> they were urging kenneth clark to drop his sentencing plans. >> this is a proposal. there is no evidence at all behind this proposal to suggest that more people will plead guilty as a result. if that doesn't happen, what will the secretary do, come back in a few months time and try to
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get a few more? this is a slippery slope which to me is ludicrous. >> there is no evidence whatsoever, lord chancellor, i suspect you will cut the idea into the long grass pretty soon. top it now. >> few weeks later came a scrapping of the whole idea. >> i thought it would survive a week or two ago because i thought by putting in judicial discretion, i could solve the problem. but you can't. for that reason, we are seeking the present system and that is what consultation is all about. >> and i welcome this latest expertly executed plan. this and allowing people to
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volunteer in classrooms and monitoring sex offenders, this is an object leak picture of the government's attitude to victims of crime. ss >> they should be done with purpose and panache when you do that. but this isn't a u-turn at all. >> from law and order to rubbish removal. the community secretary declared he would be bringing back weekly collection. this is a problem for rotting food. the plan for weekly collections was pulled off. >> before the election, the secretary of state and the local government said to much acclaim, basic right, a basic right for every englishman and woman to
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put their remnants of the chicken in the garbage without having to wait two weeks for it to be collected. perhaps you can explain why the government's position has changed. >> this was exactly the same promise on the weekly collection and broke it. and said 2 and-a-half million pounds with boxes and bags that has turned new castle into a curiousity. it is unacceptable to having rotten food waste waiting around in food bins and would hope they would have weekly collection. >> mr. speaker, i said in response to an earlier question from the right honorable lady that we believe it is important to support local authorities that want to provide weekly collection of the smelly wastes
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and make available 10 million pounds to assist them in that. >> why she hanging on when she could let the community -- [laughter] >> mr. speaker, i might remind the honorable gentleman that we are a coalition government -- [laughter] >> he might want to read the coalition agreement that the government would work to encourage people to recycle and reduce litering and measures to promote energy from waste as set out in our review today. >> this is the third u-turn.
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drastic shakeup of the service in england. g.p.'s taking over health care commissioning and input from the private sector. in april, ministers announced a pause in the legislation for a listening exercise to take place. in june, the prime minister and deputy prime were listening to patients as the government modified its plan. it looked like another u-turn. it appeared to be about satisfying the unhappy liberal democrats, one half of the coalition. >> we will strengthen the bill to promote patient choice. it will be limited to those areas where there is a national or local tariff ensuring that competition is based on criteria. mr. speaker, based on our response, we have demonstrated our willingness to listen and to improve our plan.
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>> humiliating. the health secretary has had health policy taken out of his hands. he spent the last nine months telling anyone who criticizeded the government's health plan that they were wrong and that they didn't understand. today, he admits he's wrong. how can he argue this latest blueprint for the biggest re-organization in history with any credibility or integrity? >> i welcome along with the vast majority of the public most of the changes that are in line today and i welcome you for another right thing. could i ask a point? i'm very concerned that the bureaucracy that is going to be aligned after all these changes go through could be worse. >> i would like to be assured on that point. this is clear evidence of a
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listening government. [cheers and applause] >> consensus across all political parties is that everybody should put their money where their mouth is and support these changes as we move forward. >> does the secretary understand that when we go forward in power, it increases the money from 3 billion to 111 billion and we are witnessing two billion pounds a new frankenstein monster all to pacify these liberals. >> three u-turns in a single turn.
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is this a sign of a hasty government rushing into policies and getting them wrong? >> quite unusual for a government to have this many u-turns so early in its life. if you look at sentencing, that played really badly with the tabloid press "the daily mail," the type of newspaper that didn't like what kenneth clark, the justice secretary was going to do. if you look at health reforms, well, that was the reality of coalition politics kicking in because the liberal democrats kicked up a stink. and as for the bin collections, that came down to money. so the >> the ripples of the great
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financial crisis continued to play out. the euro is going through its biggest ever crisis. the biggest so far has been greece. protests in the towns and cities of greece have continued. bailouts for given to help the economy. everyone wanted to know who is contributing to bail them out the greeks? >> britain is not in the euro and while i am prime minister, it will never be in the euro so we should not be involved in those internal arrangements. only eurozone countries were involved. only eurozone countries have been involved about further bailouts. it is right not to use the european financial stability mechanism for future support to greece.
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>> what discussions did he have about preparing for that the fault? in particular with the president who has said in the context of departure from the euro and the devolution of the monetary union, it does not have to be disorderly. >> what is causing disorder as instability in europe. it is the fact that cannot be changed. if greece can default. good money will be wasted
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failure of greece. why wasn't the prime minister your normal skeptical self and lead an orderly withdrawal? >> checks seem to be a it endangers species sincethey were in terminal decline. the council said there is no alternative. the council did not look too happy when they came before the treasury committee. >> it is a imperative as working to have a viable set of of trenches and place otherwise, will not be able to support the checks. barkley's is prepared to continue to except issue checks beyond 2015 should the criteria and not the net. it is pretty clear that they're not sitting here saying it will
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happen. they're saying that unless these tests are met, it will not happen. by the way, they say if it is unrealistic under this timetable, then we delay the timetable. that is my position. the timetable is not set in stone. if it looked unrealistic to achieve a position where we have the pieces in place, then we will delay the timetable. >> what effect do you think a message like that on a bake mandate on the customers who rely on checks? >> i will need to look at the data. without saying that, i -- this is an appalling mess. this is a shocking mess. in fact, this is a scandal. here you are trying to tell us that there has not been a colossal error in judgment but this is even worse than a
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colossal error in judgment. you have the banks out there telling customers that the checks are for the chop. >> i'm sorry. i cannot account for what barkleys is sane. i can only represent the payments council. what they're telling me is that this is what i have just said. >> with the live 6 only a year away, the six years since the city was chosen seems to have flown away. close on a million people realize they don't have all the tickets they applied for. in fact, they don't have any of the tickets they applied for. can we have a statement about the debacle and how come they can devise a system in which a million people did not get anything at all in the first balance and help them they had
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to register on a french website? shouldn't the minister insuring them. >> there was no more bids for tickets 10 tickets available. there had to be a rationing system. >> who has the tickets? ministers are facing the questions. >> the government has allocated some 9000 tickets. low my friend reassure the hope that none of those would be provided provided that the government employes and general and the u.k. politicians in general. >> i am happy to reassure my hon. friend about the details. 3000 of the tickets have been associated with the program. they are available through the
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balance. 2900 will be made available to guests of the government, including international business guests and dignitaries to make sure that we have an economic level. 450 tickets will be allocated as prices in school games to which 6000 schools have signed up. >> changes of procedures mean that ordinary mps are in control of the parliamentary timetable and not the government. this is certainly a lively debate. they came under pressure from downing street officials to withdraw the notion. >> i have a message for the prime minister of our country. i might just be a battle council house lad with a very poor background but that background
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gives me a backbone. i will not be kowtowed by the whips or even the prime minister of my country. we need a generation of politicians with a bit of spine, not jelly. this is an issue that i campaigned on for many years. in the last parliament, i spoke on the bill. i have consistently campaigned on this issue. >> he continued. >> i appeal to the house to support my motion, let's get britain back to where was the last century, leading the world in animal welfare issues. let's put an end to the use of the animals in circuses. >> it has been a roller-coaster
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for -- to is yet to complete his first full year as leader of the opposition. they are fighting to take advantage of the new terms. then they tried a different tactic, tripped up david cameron over matters of detail. >> this is what they say, i think it is a disgrace that conservative members are shouting. this is what they say, many people will lose this benefit simply because they have not recovered quickly enough. mr. speaker, will he now confess that 7,000 pounds is losing to 94 a week. >> this is put in place fairly.
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we have made sure that someone is reviewing all of the medical tests they have raised. >> the council before and that britain council has been making the council for months. i am amazed the prime minister doesn't know that. the house of commons is voting on this bill tonight. he should know about these arguments. will he now admits that people are using 94 pounds a week? >> i have answered his questions three times with a full explanation. the point about our benefit is that there are proper medical tests said that we support those who cannot work as a generous and tolerant and compassionate country should but we make sure that those who can work have to go out to work so we don't report of bad behavior. >> he does not even know his own policy. is about the people recovering
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from cancer. >> victory on points and deepening town of david cameron on matters of detail. at the end of june, he brought up reforms to the health service on a day when everyone else was talking by strikes by teachers. david cameron pounced. >> he promised no top-down rescission, he's doing it. he promised a better deal for patients, things are getting worse. what people are asking up and down this country is what is he doing for our and a chess -- what is he doing for our nhs. >> if he did not talk about strikes because he is in the pocket of the union's. the whole country would have noticed at a time when greece is
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facing huge problems over its deficit, he cannot talk about greece is because his plan is to make britain like greece. >> david cameron coming. on top of that particular question. what are we to make of -- performances after that point? >> there are mixed reviews of his performance at the prime minister's questions. more often than not, david cameron was able to deal with him. the camp changed tactics. they decided that david cameron is week of detail. they started asking very specific veto questions about the impact of a certain policy, for example, welfare reform, on a particular group of people. they would argue that this showed the prime minister the
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weakness of the detail and the impact of his own policies and they think that that was a very successful tactic and i think it is one that you will see more and more in the future. >> her queen went -- for medicine decree went to ireland and this was widely regarded as a start. she was not the first british monarchs to visit ireland and a hundred years. she went to the sports stadium. later, the queen went to the dublin council. she was a long time the irish president. the queen reflected the turbulent relationship between britain and ireland. >> with the benefit of historical hindsight, we can see things which we would wish had been done differently or not at all. >> in the comments, the queen's
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visit was raised at the prime minister in -- the prime minister's questions. >> this demonstrates not only her own personal courage in the face of severe dissident threats but also demonstrates whatever reservations some of us have over an aspect of for visit and the improvement in relations. it also ought -- looks at the recognition. >> this is a remarkable visit. it demonstrates that the relation between britain and a republican of our land is strong and has probably never been stronger. i think this season unless the scenes on our television screens that the queen made to heal the
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wounds of the past and also to look at the bright future which is remarkable and usually unwelcome. >> another visit, this time britain was playing host. >> barack obama and the first lady were in town, they were meeting the queen and prince philip. a quick inspection of buckingham palace and perhaps the ultimate social opportunity. a memorable summer barbeque and the president and prime minister and joining the burgers and the substitutes. president obama came to parliament to address parliament. >> the last three speakers here have been the pope, her majesty the queen, and nelson mandela. that is either a very high bar
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or the beginning of a very funny joke. >> the speech touched on the intervention in libya. >> it would have been easy at the outset of the crackdown in libya to say that none of this was our business. a nation's sovereignty is more important than the slaughter of its citizens. that argument carries weight with some, but we are different. we embrace a broader responsibility. >> on to the british and american experience in diversity. we could see was possible, he said. >> we will leave this program and we will redirect tonight. we are taking you to capitol hill for remarks by house leader john boehner. >> the united states government. i give is that we are not.
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starting tonight, i will be working with colleagues here in the capital, both and the house and senate, path forward. i have confidence in the leaders of the congress that can come together and to ensure that we have an agreement that will allow the country to avoid defaults and meets the principles we have outlined. spending cuts must be acquitted and the increase in the debt leavitt-debt limit and no tax increases. the discussions have broken down for two reasons. first, they insisted on raising taxes. we had an agreement on a revenue number, a revenue number that we thought we could reach based on a flat tax code and the lower rates and a broader base which would produce more economic growth and more employees and
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more taxpayers. and a tax system that was more efficient in collecting the taxes that were due for the federal government. let me just say that the white house moved the goal post. there was an agreement on some additional revenues. until yesterday, when the president demanded $400 billion more, which was going to be nothing more than a tax increase on the american people. i can tell you that we were very disappointed in this call for higher revenue. secondly, they refused to get serious about cutting spending and making the tough choices that are facing our country on entitlement reform. that is the bottom line. i take the same oath of office as the president of the united states. i have the same responsibility
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as the president of the united states. i think that is for both of us to do what is and the best interest in our country. i can tell you that it is not in the best interest to raise taxes in this difficult economy and not in the best interest of our country to ignore the serious spending challenges that we face. this is a serious debate and this is a debate about jobs, this is a debate about our economy, and frankly is a big debate about the future of our country. until recently, the president was demanding that the congress increased the debt limit with no strings attached. as a matter of fact, the treasury secretary sent me a letter two days after we were sworn in demanding that we give him a clean increase in the debt limit. i responded and told the treasury secretary at the american people would not tolerate a clean increase in the debt ceiling unless there was
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serious spending cuts attached and will reform in the way we spent the american people's money. i went to new york city in may and gave a speech to the new york economic club where i outlined the challenges we were facing and i made it clear that we would not increase the debt limit for the cuts that exceeded that increase in the debt limit and that there would be no new taxes and that there would be serious spending reforms put in place. it is time to get serious. i'm confident that the leaders here in the congress can act, the white house will give serious, we will. >> your own aides say that the package of cuts that was on the table was worked out to three trillion dollars. how can you say that the white house was a series about the spending cuts? that is more than you were asking for initially. >> we put plan after plan on the
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table. the house passed its budget. the house passed the cut, cap, balance. never once did the president come to the table with a plan. it was always -- we were always pushing. when you get into these negotiations, sometimes it is good to back away from the tree and take a look at the force. yesterday afternoon, after the president demanded more revenue in this package, i came back away from the tree to take a look at the forest. i spent most of the morning and afternoon consulting with my fellow leaders, members of our conference, and others, about the way to go forward. i want to tell you what i said several weeks ago. dealing with the white house is like dealing with a bowl of jello. i will not get into the partisan sniping that we heard earlier.
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i can tell you that there was every effort in the world to avoid the real cuts that we need to make in order to preserve the fiscal integrity of our country and frankly the real cuts that needed to be made to preserve our entitlement programs which are important programs to tens of millions of americans. >> how can you see that you can concede this without having some -- >> i think that we can work together here on capitol hill to forge an agreement and i'm hopeful that the president will work with us. >> president obama said he did not return his phone calls. as is presently damaged your relationship? >> the present and i have got to know each other pretty well over the course of the past six
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months. and all of our conversations, they will are respectful, they were firm. there was frustration on both sides. i don't believe that our relationship is permanently damaged. >> the president has invited you to the white house tomorrow morning, will you go. >> yes, ma'am. >> he spent weeks in negotiating. you said he backed away. do you trust him? >> i do trust him as a negotiator. you have to understand that every step of this process is difficult. there is reason why we have two political parties, there is reason why the president and i come from different local parties. the president believes in the size of government in my more taxes to the american people. every weekend, when i am not stop here in washington, d.c., i am out somewhere in america and out around my district and i run
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into people, small business people, who did not understand why they pay the taxes they pay. they don't understand the regulations coming out of washington be impeding their ability to grow their business and hire more people. when you boil all this down, yes, we have to save the fiscal future for our country but we have to get our economy going again and we have to get people confident in our economy. the way to do that is to have real spending cuts now. >> the differences in revenue from the sounds like you and the white house are about $400 billion over 10 years. that is about $40 billion a year. considering the context of the budget, that is not really that much. the stakes are so high, how can the talks have broken down over this relatively so insignificant number. >> this would have had to come from increasing taxes on the very people we expect to invest in our economy and create jobs.
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>> the present suggested that you walked away from this because you cannot control your own caucus. there are people, republicans say that the fault isn't something that they're concerned about. they don't want to see the debt ceiling raise under any circumstances. is any truth that you were pressured to walk away from something that you might have otherwise -- >> abs fully not. i gave the president's proposal serious consideration. let's understand something, there was an agreement with the white house that $800 billion in revenue. it is the president who walked away from his agreement and demanded more money at the last minute. the only way to get that was to raise taxes. >> at this point, what is the lectern -- was elected to a short term debt increase? >> we have never discussed a short-term increase in the debt
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limits. i'm not really interested in a short-term interest -- increase in the debt limit. we have to increase the debt limit and we have to deal with their deficits and are dead. the sooner we do that, the better of our country will be. -- we have to increase the debt limit and we have to deal with the deficit and our debt. >> cut, cap, balance has failed in the senate. what else is there to do? >> i am confident that congress can act next week and not jeopardize the full faith and credit of the u.s. government. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011]
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>> that was house speaker john in his remarks coming after a briefing by the president. the sticking point, he says, tax increases and entitlement. he said that he and the majority leader were disappointed in the changes to the white house plan. the president ask for a plan . the treasury says the to go into default on august 2nd. you can find the speakers statement on line. you can also see a statement by the majority leader. he wrote in the coming days, they will offer a path forward that meets the president's request for a debt limit increase that manages down the debt and achieves serious spending cuts. you can find all the statements
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on our main page at c-span.org. we will be taking your calls. this is the latest breakdown in the debt and deficit talks. the last to call for democrats -- call in the line that best reflects your political view. our first call is coming from north carolina. caller: i am disturbed and disgusted with what is going on. this whole thing that they will be raising taxes on the wealthy,
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what needs to be done is to close the loopholes. why did these multinational corporations are allowed to make money and not pay any taxes? this is unbelievable what is going on. my story is i work for the federal government from 1985 until 2007. i took an early out retirement and then make whopping $10,980 a year. i work a the part-time job for about 12,000. i owe income taxes every year since 2008. when i was making close to $50,000 a year, i was getting refunds, 600, 800, 900 year. this is not make any sense. it seems like a less money a
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person makes, the more taxes they pay. >> thank you. we will now go to california. >> i am with the woman that just called. she is making 23 a year, we're making a little bit less than that. my husband collects about 96 on social security. >> what did you think about what the president had to say? >> i did him tonight. i heard him this morning, but i stick with what he said. he said he will not touch medicare or social security, and i'm going to believe him. he has to stick to that. i do not know why the republicans are going to spend their money running. nobody is going to beat this president who is now talking. thank you very much. >> rachel on the republican line
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calling from portland, oregon. go ahead. >> i was listening. i absolutely disagree with these women. first and foremost, he cannot grow jobs. let me back up the second year in money always originates from the private sector. people who work for the government are very appreciative of every aspect of it. but when you try to kill the golden goose that is laying the golden egg, you will have a problem. there is a disconnect with the liberal side of this. many of them work in the public sector, and they do not see the big picture on the other side. the big picture is private sector cannot have a stranglehold on it. they have to be able to create jobs. that means in order to do that, you cannot tax them to death. most of the companies -- i'm a small business owner -- they're not big corporations. that is another thing that shows me when i hear them say that that they are out of touch with reality and do not understand the business side.
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80% of the businesses are small business owners. they are not big, gargantuan corporations. by the way, corporations to pay taxes. they pay a boat load of taxes. with regards to the public sector, if they want to keep going down this path and keep putting a stranglehold on the golden goose, bottom line is eventually, there will be nothing. then, they will not even have somebody to go to to gripe about to say we do not want entitlements to go away. that is the big problem. there is a disconnect that ic. the public sector versus the private sector. they do not understand that all revenues -- >> thanks, rachel. she is echoing some of the statements coming from the house speaker tonight. he issued a statement tonight that it became evident that the white house is simply not serious about ending the spending binge that is destroying jobs and endangering
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our children's future. you can see a number of statements coming from capitol hill tonight as the speaker of the house john boehner left negotiations with the white house. he says he is going to try to work with the senate instead of trying to continue talks with the president. going to go now to marry, a democrat in rock springs, wyoming. >> well, howdy. looks like the speaker just kind of chicken out a little bit there. >> what do you mean? >> i thought he was doing a good negotiation, but when they talk about big oil, it is not about big oil. big oil has little oil, too. small businesses and stuff like that. like bp and stuff like that. i do not think they are all big oil. there is little oil, too. >> we are going to go now to
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randy on the republican line in citrus heights, california. thanks again. >> good afternoon. i heard exurbs from the president's speech, and i made it home in time to see speaker boehner's response. this is a really important time in our country. i totally agree with the lady from oregon. she nailed it. these people are so out of touch. we the people are demanding that government gets smaller, and, of course, that is not popular with government employee unions, some non-profits that profit from government funding, and people who are dependent on government. a lot of people all over this country depend on the government for little stuff like, "i cannot seem to scrape up enough money for a bologna sandwich for my
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kids, so i need the government to provide them lunch while he is at school." things like this. at some point, the people, us, we the people who are paying afraid have to say enough is enough. we cannot afford this. you guys have to spend less. it is a huge fight, and it is going to be played out over the next few elections. it is not done, by any measure. there is a lot of work to be done, and remember in november. >> numbers are at the bottom of your screen if you want to call in. to the independence line next. linda in minneapolis. >> hello and good afternoon. i was calling -- it is really devastating when you see the
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president have to go through so much trouble trying to get the republicans to work with them. but i do not understand why the american people cannot see that the republicans resist in trying to get the economy working because they feel that they will benefit from that in 2012. and president obama has done everything possible that he can do to try to get this deal done, and the republicans have no interest whatsoever in working with the president. they have no interest in doing anything for the american people but to lie to the american people, and the callers calling in saying that the democrats are on the wrong side -- no, they are not on the wrong side because the american people should wake up now and see the republicans ran on the pledge that they were going to work on jobs, but they have not brought up not one jobs bill at all for the american people, and i am is
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sick and tired of the republicans. they are racist, and they are doing everything that they are doing simple because they do not want the president to succeed, and it is really devastating to see what is going on. there has never ever been a president treated as bad as president obama has been treated, and the american people ought to see all of this has to do with race. because they feel that he is a black man, and i am sick and tired of it. it is devastating. >> from minneapolis, we will go now to ohio. john on our democrats line. >> yes, i am on disability. i was wondering if the senate and the congress -- are they going to get their paychecks? if we do not get our disability checks, you know, we have to wonder where our next bill is going to come from. >> thanks, john in ohio.
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on now to colorado. sorry, beaver county, pennsylvania, on the republican line. >> i was just wondering, all these hot shot politicians in the right now, that crybaby john boehner, who cries and its emotional about everything, i say we toss every politician out, let new people come in, get rid of all these deadbeats. that is what i say. it is ok for them getting fat paychecks. we have to pay their salaries and start over this. >> we have heard from the president tonight. we have heard from speaker boehner. we will bring you their comments again as soon as we wrap up our phones from our colleagues. roger on the independence line, go ahead. >> yes, i keep hearing you all talk about creating jobs and everything, and constantly, ic
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all these illegal immigrants. coming in from georgia and everywhere else and taking what little bit of work that, as far as i'm concerned, that god gave us, it is time we step up to the plate and stop this. it's my understanding they are not supposed to get any type of federal aid. i have seen a lady in walmart that in front of me had two bogeys full of groceries, and they said that her food stamps card did not work, and she got out a wad of $100 bills that would choke a dog. it is time to stop this and step up to the plate in tennessee. so a general contractor, and i am struggling to make it. i hear all this bs, and i am over it. it is time that we do something. like at&t, largest communication
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company in the world. it is my understanding they did not pay any corporate taxes. explain that to me. it is time that we take a moment to care about our country and quit scratching the richest -- the rich's backs. >> now to west plans, missouri, and james on the democrat line. >> yes, i am a democrat, proud to be. the thing about it is it just seems like the republicans do not realize who got us into this mess. it was the republicans. obama got in there. he did not have a chance. the republicans were going to fight him down from day one. he got bin laden. the factory around here is hiring. you talk to the republicans -- there's no jobs. if you want a job, you can find a job. it may not be what you want, but if you look hard enough, it
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might be at mcdonald's, and i am disabled. my wife works at a factory. she was laid off before obama got in office. he has tried to do everything he promised to do, but when you are being fought every day, he got bin laden. bush could not get bin laden. >> living on to sarasota, florida. >> i spoke to a senator and ask how can we change the irs form were the first three lines would ask for a dollar for the campaign on every election, could we add three more lines and agree to send the dollar to our veterans who have come back and fought in the war and are not discharged? case in point, in fort carson right now, they have a web site call out because they are living in tents.
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i find that to be absolutely deplorable. i also would like the congress that if they are not going to give social security and our veterans their checks and benefits, then i do not think they should be paid. >> from florida to new jersey, manchester, new jersey, are democrats line. go ahead. >> i am a senior citizen. i support president obama. i think he's the smartest president we've had in decades. i've lost 80% of my interest income in the last three years. so is struggling along. there have been no increases in social security, as everybody knows. one of my main problems that i find is that the low and middle- income people are providing the military to protect the corporations and the headquarters, but they are making jobs overseas. and so few members of congress have family members. mr. biden does.
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mr. mccain does. but very few are actually donating blood. treasure, yes. >> we are going to move on to our last call for tonight. cilia calling from kansas bill, michigan, republicans line. >> i have voted republican since the eisenhower years. 77 years old, and i have felt betrayed by the republicans. giving all this money to the rich -- i would like to know where the jobs are. they are not producing jobs, and i know there's a lot of my friends who have voted republican also, and i do not know that i will ever vote republican again unless they start changing their tune and start thinking about the middle class people. >> that is silly in michigan. we are going to show you the president's remarks tonight and
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also speaker boehner from earlier tonight. we start off with the president. he had asked for a plan from congress by today. a treasury department says the u.s. will go into default on its debt obligations by august 2. here are his remarks from about an hour ago. >> good evening, everybody. i wanted to give you an update on the situation around the debt ceiling. i got a call about half an hour ago from speaker boehner who indicated he was going to be walking away from the negotiations we have been engaged in here at the white house for a big deficit reduction and debt reduction
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package. i thought it would be useful for me to just give you some insight into where we were and why i think that we should have moved forward with a big deal. essentially, what we had offered speaker boehner was over $1 trillion in cuts to discretionary spending, both domestic and defense. we then offered an additional $650 billion in cuts to entitlement programs. medicare, medicaid, social security. we believe it was possible to shape those in a way that preserves the integrity of the system, made them available for the next generation, and did not affect current beneficiaries in an adverse way. in addition, what we sought was
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revenues that were actually less than what the gang of six signed off on. you had a bipartisan group of senators, including republicans who are in leadership in the senate calling for what effectively was about $2 trillion of of the republican base line that they have been working off of. what we said was, "give us $1.20 trillion in additional revenues." which could be accomplished without hiking tax rates, but could simply be accomplished by eliminating loopholes, eliminating some deductions, and in beijing in a tax reform process that could have lowered rates generally while broadening the base. so let me reiterate what we were offering. we were offering a deal that called for as much discretionary
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savings as the gang of six. we were calling for taxes that were less than what the gang of six had proposed. and we were calling for modifications to entitlement programs, which would have saved just as much over the 10-year window. in other words, this was an extraordinarily fair deal. if it was on balance, it was unbalanced in the direction of not enough revenue. but in the interest of being serious about deficit reduction, i was willing to take a lot of heat from my party, and i spoke to democratic leaders yesterday, and although they did not sign off on a plan, they were willing to engage in serious negotiations, despite a lot of
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heat from a lot of interest groups around the country in order to make sure that we actually dealt with this problem. it is hard to understand why speaker boehner will walk away from this kind of deal. if you look at the commentary out there, there are a lot of republicans that are puzzled as to why it could not get done. in fact, there are a lot of republican voters out there who are puzzled as to why it could not get done. fact of the matter is the vast majority of the american people believe we should have a balanced approach. if you do not have any revenues, as the most recent republican plan that has been put forward both in the house and senate proposed, if you have no revenues at all, what that means is more of a burden on seniors.
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more drastic cuts to education. more drastic cuts to research, a bigger burden on the services that are going to middle-class families all across the country, and it essentially asks nothing of corporate debt holders. it asks nothing of oil and gas companies. it asks nothing from folks like me who have done extremely well and can afford to do a little bit more. in other words, if you do not have revenues, the entire thing in the being tilted on the backs of the core -- the poor and middle-class families, and the majority of americans do not agree with that approach. so here is what we're going to do. we have now run out of time. i told speaker boehner. i told democratic leader nancy pelosi. i have told harry reid, and i have told mcconnell i want them
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here at 11:00 tomorrow. we have run out of time, and they are going to have to explain to me how it is that we are going to avoid defaults. they can come up with any plans that they want and bring them up here, and we will work on them. the only bottom line that i would ask is that we have to expend -- extend this debt ceiling through the next election in 2013. the reason for it is we have now seen how difficult it is to get any kind of deal done. the economy is already weakened, and the notion that five or six or eight months from now we will be in a better position to try to solve this problem makes no sense. in addition, if we cannot come up with a serious plan for actual deficit and debt reduction and all we're doing is extending the debt ceiling for another six, seven, eight
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months, then the probabilities of downgrading u.s. credit are increased, and that will be an additional clout over the economy and make it more difficult for us and more difficult for businesses to create jobs that the american people so desperately need. so they will come down here at 11:00 tomorrow. i expect them to have an answer in terms of how they intend to get this thing done over the course of the next week. the american people expect action. i continue to believe that a package that is balanced and actually has serious debt and deficit reduction is the right way to go. the american people, i think, are fed up with political posturing and an inability for politicians to take responsible action as opposed to dodge their
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responsibilities. and with that, i'm going to take some questions. >> you said you want the leader of south carolina to give an answer about the path forward. >> with respect to my relationship with speaker boehner, we have always had a cordial relationship. we had very intense negotiations. i'm going to have my team review exactly on how these negotiations proceeded. up until sometime early today when i could not get a phone call returned, my expectation was that speaker boehner was going to be willing to go to his caucus and ask them to do the tough thing but the right thing. i think it has proven difficult for speaker boehner to do that. i have been left at the altar now a couple of times.
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i think that one of the questions the republican party is going to have to ask itself is -- can they say yes to anything? can they say yes to anything? keep in mind, it is the republican party that has said that the single most important thing facing our country is deficits and debts. we have put forward a package that would significantly cut deficits and debts. it would be the biggest debt reduction package that we have seen in a very long time. and it is accomplished without raising individual tax rates. it is accomplished in a way that is compatible with the note tax pledge that a whole bunch of these folks signed on to because we were mindful that they had boxed themselves in. we tried to find a way for them to generate revenues in a way that did not put them in a bad
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spot. so the question is -- what can you say yes to? if their only answer is what they have presented, which is a package that would effectively require massive cuts to social security, to medicare, to domestic spending, with no revenues whatsoever, not asking anything from the wealthiest in this country or corporations that have been making record profits -- if that is their only answer, then it is going to be pretty difficult for us to figure out where to go. the fact of the matter is that is what the american people are looking for, some compromise, some willingness to put partisanship aside, some willingness to ignore talk radio or ignore activists in our
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respective bases, and do the right thing. to their credit, nancy pelosi, harry reid, the democratic leadership -- they sure did not like the plan that we were proposing to boehner, but they were at least willing to engage in a conversation because they understood how important it is for us to actually solve this problem. so far, i have not seen the capacity of the house republicans in particular, to make those tough decisions. so then the question becomes -- where is the leadership? or alternatively, how serious are you about debt and deficit reduction? or do you simply want it as a campaign ploy going into the next election? in terms of where we go next, here is the one thing we have got to do -- at minimal, we've got to increase the debt ceiling. at minimum. i think we need to do more than that. but as i have said before,
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republican leader mcconnell in the senate put forward a plan that said he is going to go ahead and give me the responsibility to raise the debt ceiling. that way, folks in congress can vote against it, but at least it gets done. i am willing to take the responsibility. that is my job. if they want to give me the responsibility to do it, i am happy to do it. but what we are not going to do is continue play games and stream this all long for another eight, nine months and then have to go through this whole exercise all over again. that we are not going to do. >> can you assure the american people that they will get their social security checks on august 3? if not, who is to blame? >> well, when it comes to all the checks, not just social security -- veterans, people with disabilities, -- about 70
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million checks are sent out each month. if we default, then we will have to make adjustments, and i am already consulting with secretary geithner in terms of what the consequences would be. we should not even be in that kind of scenario. if congress and in particular the house republicans are not willing to make sure that we avoid default, then i think it is fair to say that they would have to take responsibility for whatever problems arise in those payments. let me repeat -- i am not interested in finger-pointing and in blame, but i just want the facts to speak for themselves. we have put forward a plan that is more generous to republican
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concerns and a bipartisan plan that will -- that was supported by a number of republican senators, including at least one that is in republican leadership in the senate. now, i will leave it up to the american people to make a determination as to how fair that is, and at the leadership cannot come to an agreement in terms of how we move forward, then i think they will hold all of us accountable. that should not even be an option. that should not be an option. i'm getting letters from people to say that at the end of every month, they have to skip meals. senior citizens on social security are just hanging on by a thread. folks who have severe disabilities, who are desperate every single month to try to figure out how they will make ends meet.
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but it is not just those folks. you've got business contractors who are providing services to the federal government, who have to wonder if they will be able to get paid and what that does in terms of their payrolls. you've got just a huge number of people who in one way or another interact with the federal government. even if you do not, even if you are not a recipient of social security, even if you do not get veteran's benefits or disability, imagine what that does to the economy when suddenly 70 million checks are put at risk. if you are a business out there, that is not going to be good for economic growth. and that is the number one concern of the american people. we've got to get it done. it is not an option not to do it. >> [inaudible] >> i am confident simply because i cannot believe that congress
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would end up being that irresponsible that they would not send a package that avoids a self-inflicted wound to the economy at a time when things are so difficult. >> can you explain why you are offering a deal that was more generous than the gang of six that you seemed to be embracing on tuesday? >> because what had become apparent was that speaker boehner had some difficulty in his caucus. there was a group in his caucus that actually think default would be okay and have said that they would not vote for increasing the debt ceiling under any circumstances. so i understand how they get themselves stirred up and the sharp ideological lines they have drawn. ultimately, my responsibility is to make sure that we avoid
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extraordinary difficulties to american people and american businesses. unfortunately, when you are in these negotiations, you did not get 100% of what you want. you may not even get 60% or 70% of what you want. but i was willing to try to persuade democratic leadership as well as democratic members of congress that even a deal that is not as balanced as i think it should be is better than no deal at all. and i was willing to persuade democrats that getting a handle on debt and deficit reduction is important to democrats just as much as it is important to republicans, and, frankly, a lot of democrats are persuaded by that year as i said at the last press conference, if you are a progressive, you should want to
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get our fiscal house in order because once we do, it allows us to have a serious conversation about the investments we need to make, like infrastructure, like rebuilding our roads and bridges and airports, like investing more in a college education, like making sure we are focused on the kinds of research and technology that will help us in the future. it is a lot easier to do that when we have our fiscal house in order. that was an argument that i was willing to go out and make to a lot of skeptical democrats, as you saw yesterday. but ultimately, that is what we should expect from our leaders. if this was easy, it would have already been done. i think what a lot of the american people are so disappointed by is this sense that all the talk about responsibility, all the talk about the next generation, all the talk about making
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sacrifices, that when it comes to actually doing something difficult, folks walk away. last point i will make here -- i have gone out of my way to say that both parties have to make compromises. i think this whole episode has indicated the degree to which at least a democratic president has been willing to make some tough compromises. so when you go out -- when you guys go out there and write your stories, this is not a situation where somehow this was the usual food fight between democrats and republicans. a lot of democrats stepped up. in ways that were not advantages politically. so we have shown ourselves willing to do the tough stuff on an issue that republicans ran on.
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>> there seems to be an extraordinary breakdown of trust involved here. i wonder if you could address what we are hearing from republicans, that there was a framework and a deal that was agreed with your chief of staff and the treasury secretary about a certain number of revenues, that the republicans had agreed to that, and then after you brought that to your party, the line was moved. is this an example of where the goal line has moved and that is what has led to this breakdown in trust? >> we will go through all the paper. we will walk you through this process. what this came down to was that there does not seem to be a capacity for them to say yes. what is absolutely true is we wanted more revenue than they had initially offered, but as you will see, the spending cuts
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that we are prepared to engage in war at least as significant as the spending cuts you have seen in a whole range of bipartisan proposals, and we basically agreed with an $10 billion, $20 billion, we were within that range. that was not the reason this thing broke down. we were consistent in saying that it would be important for us to have at least enough revenue that we could protect current beneficiaries of social security, for example, or beneficiaries of medicare, that we were not cutting medicaid so sharply that we would suddenly have to throw people off the health care rolls. we were consistent in that. i want to be clear -- i'm not suggesting that we had an agreement that was signed,
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sealed, and delivered. the point is we are still a part, as recently as yesterday. but when you look at the overall package, there is no changing of the goal post. there has been a consistency on our part in saying we're willing to make the tough cuts, and we are willing to take on the heat for this difficult cuts, but that there has got to be some balance in the process. what i've said publicly is the same thing that i've said privately, and i've done that consistently throughout this process. with respect to this breakdown in trust, i think that we have operated above board since -- consistently. there have not been any surprises. i think the challenge really has to do with the seeming inability, particularly in the house of representatives, to our right at any kind of position -- tori that any cut a position
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that compromises any of their ideological preferences. none. and you have heard it. i'm not making this up. a number of members of that caucus have been very clear about that. >> [inaudible] ." -- >> absolutely, but what you saw, and again, you will see this from the description of the deal -- essentially, what they agreed to give on is to get back to a baseline -- this starts getting technical, but there were about $800 billion in revenue that were going to be available. what we said was when you have a ratio of $4 in cuts for every dollar of revenue, that is pretty hard to stomach. we think it is important to make sure that whatever additional
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revenue is in their covers the amount of money being taken out of entitlement programs. that is only fair. if i'm saying to future recipients of social security or medicare that you have to make some adjustments, it is important that we are also willing to make adjustments when it comes to corporate jet owners or oil and gas producers or people who are making millions or billions of dollars. >> you said that your bottom line in a big deal that is not going happen -- are you going to be willing to go back and i'd just a raising the debt ceiling? >> i think i have been
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consistently saying here in this press room and everywhere that it is very important for us to raise the debt ceiling. we do not have an option on that. so if that is the best that congress can do, then i will find -- i will sign an extension of the debt ceiling that takes us through 2013. i do not think that is enough. i think we should do more. that is the bare minimum. that is the floor of what the american people expect us to do. i would like to see us do more, and when i meet with the leadership tomorrow, i am going to say, "let's do more." but if they tell me that is the best they can do, and i will sign an extension that goes to 2013, and i will make the case to the american people that we have to continue going out there and solving this problem. it is the right thing to do, and it is time to do it. we cannot keep on putting it
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off. >> you said the speaker boehner did not return phone calls this afternoon. can you elaborate on it? >> i am less concerned about me having to wait for my phone call returned and in the message that i actually received when i actually got the phone call. >> the markets are closed by now. are you going to be reaching out to some people on wall street that when monday, as we do not see a reaction to the news developing right now? that is very important that leadership understands that wall street will be opening on monday, and we better have some answers during the course of the next several days. >> what can you say to people who are watching to work on wall street who might find this news a bit alarming? >> i think what you should say -- well, here is what i would say -- i remain confident in that we will get an extension of the debt limit and we will not
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default. i am confident of that. i am less confident at this point that people are willing to step up to the plate and actually deal with the underlying problem of debt and deficits. that requires tough choices. that is what we were sent here to do. the debt ceiling -- that is a formality. historically, this has not even been an issue. it is an unpleasant vote, but it has been a routine bill that congress does periodically. it was raised 18 times when ronald reagan was president. ronald reagan said, "default is not an option begin that it would be hugely damaging to the prestige of the united states, and we should not even consider it. that is the easy part. we should have done the six months ago. the hard part is actually dealing with the underlying debt and deficit.
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in doing it in a way that is fair. that is all the american people are looking for, some fairness. i cannot tell you how many letters and e-mails i get including from republican voters, who say they know that neither party is blameless when it comes to how this debt and deficit developed. there's been a lot of blame spread around, but we sure hope you do not just balance the budget on the backs of seniors. we sure hope that we are not cutting our commitment to make sure kids can go to college. we sure hope that we are not suddenly throwing a bunch of poor kids off the medicaid rolls so they cannot get basic preventative services that keep them out of the emergency room. that is all they are looking for, is some fairness. what you're going to hear, i suspect, is if the senate is
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prepared to pass the cap, cut, and balance bill, the republican plan, then somehow we can solve this problem, that a serious debt reduction -- it turns out actually that the plan the speaker boehner and i were talking about was comparable in terms of deficit reduction. the difference was that we did not put all the burden on the people who are least able to protect themselves who do not have lobbyists in this town, who do not have lawyers working on the tax code for them. working stiffs out there, ordinary folks who are struggling every day, and they know they are getting a raw deal, and they are mad at everybody about it. they are mad at democrats and mad at republicans because they know somehow no matter how hard they worked, they do not seem to be able to keep of. what they are looking for someone willing to look out for
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them. that is all they are looking for. you know, for us not to be keeping those folks in mind every single day when we are up here, for us to be more worried about what some funder says or some talk radio show host says or what some columnist says, or what led we signed back when we were trying to run or worrying about having a primary fight -- for us to be thinking in those terms instead of thinking about those folks is inexcusable. i mean, the american people are just desperate for folks who are willing to put aside politics just for a minute and try to get some stuff done. so when someone asked why i was willing to go along with a deal
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that was not optimal? because even if i did not think the deal was perfect, at least it would show that this place is serious. that we are willing to take on our responsibilities, even when is tough. that we are willing to step up, even when the folks who helped get us elected made -- may disagree. and, you know, at some point, i think if you want to be a leader, then you have got to lead. thank you very much. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> house speaker john boehner made an appearance shortly after the president. in a statement, he said he was leaving talks with the white house and will work instead with
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senate leaders. he spoke for about 10 minutes. >> good evening. i want to be entirely clear. no one wants to default on the full faith and credit of the united states government. i am convinced that we will not. starting tonight, i will be working with colleagues here in the capital. both in the house and senate. to find a responsible path forward. i have confidence in the bipartisan leaders of the congress that can come together to insure that we have an agreement that will allow the country to avoid default and meets the principles that we
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have outlined -- spending cuts that must be greater than the increase in the debt limit and no tax increases. the discussions we have had with the white house have broken down for two reasons -- first, they insisted on raising taxes. we had an agreement on a revenue number, a revenue number that we thought we could reach based on a flatter tax code with lower rates and a broader base, that would produce more economic growth, more employees, and more taxpayers, and a tax system that was more efficient in collecting the taxes that were due the federal government. let me just say that the white house moved the goal post. there was an agreement on some additional revenues until yesterday when the president
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demanded $400 billion more, which was going to be nothing more than a tax increase on the american people. i can tell you that the leader and i were very disappointed in this call for higher revenue. secondly, they refused to get serious about cutting spending and making the tough choices that are facing our country on entitlement reform. that is the bottom line. i take the same oath of office as the president of the united states. i have got the same response abilities as the president of united states, and i think that is for both of us to do what is in the best interests of our country, and i can tell you that it is not in the best interests of our country to raise taxes during this difficult economy, and it is not in the best interests of my country to ignore the serious spending challenges that we face. i want to say this is a serious
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debate. it is a debate about jobs. it is a debate about our economy. frankly, it is also a big debate about the future of our country. until recently, the president was demanding that the congress increase the debt limit with no strings attached. matter of fact, the treasury secretary sent me a letter two days after we were sworn in on january, demanding that we give him a clean increase in the debt limit. i immediately responded and told the treasury secretary that the american people would not tolerate a clean increase in the debt ceiling unless there were serious spending cuts attached and real reforms to the way we spend the american people's money. i went to new york city in may, gave a speech to the new york economic club where i outlined the challenges we were facing, and i made it clear that we would not increase the debt limit without cuts that
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exceeded that increase in the debt limit, that there would be no new taxes, and that there would be serious spending reforms put in place. it is time to get serious. i am confident that the bipartisan leaders in the congress can act. the white hat in -- if the white house will not get serious, we will. >> your own aides said that the package of cuts on the table was worth about $3 trillion. how can you say that the white house was not serious about spending cuts? that was even more than you were asking for initially. >> we put plan after plan on the table. the house passed its budget. we had our plan out there. the house passed the cutback and balance. never once did the president ever come to the table with a plan. we were always pushing. when you get into these negotiations, sometimes, it is good to back away from the tree and take a look at the forest.
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yesterday afternoon, after the president demanded more revenue in this package, i came back away from the tree to take a look at the forest. i spent most of the morning and afternoon consulting with my fellow leaders, members of our conference, and others about the way to go forward. i just want to tell you what i said several weeks ago -- dealing with the white house is like dealing with a bowl of jello. i'm not going to get into the partisan sniping that we heard earlier. but i can tell you that there was every effort in the world to avoid the real cuts that we need to make in order to preserve the fiscal integrity of our country and, frankly, the real cuts that needed to be made -- that need to be made to preserve our entitlement programs, which are important programs to tens of millions of americans.
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>> your frustration with the white house -- how can you can see that you can forge an agreement here without having some by and from the boss? >> i think that we can work together on capitol hill to forge an agreement, and i am hopeful that the president will work with us on that agreement. >> president obama said you did not return his phone call. has this permanently damaged your relationship with the president. >> the president and i have got to know each other pretty well over the course of the last six months. i can tell you that in all of our conversations, they were respectful. they were firm. their frustrations on both sides, but i do not believe that our relationship is permanently damaged. >> the president has invited you to the white house tomorrow morning. are you going to go? >> yes, ma'am. >> do you trust the president?
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you say he backed away from an offer you made. >> i did trust him as a negotiator, but you have to understand that every step of this process was difficult. you know, there is a reason why we have two political parties. there is a reason why the president and i come from different political parties. president believes in the size of government, in more taxes from the american people. listen, every weekend when i'm not stuck here in washington, d.c., i'm out somewhere in america and out around my district, and i run into people. small business people who do not understand why they pay the taxes they pay. did not understand the regulations coming out of washington, including their ability to grow their business and hire more people. , and when you boil all this down, we have to save the fiscal future for our country, but we got to get our economy going
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again, and we've got to give people confidence in our economy, and the way to do that is to have real spending cuts now. >> [inaudible] stakes are so high. how come talks have broken down over this? >> the extra $400 billion would have had to come from increasing taxes on the very people we expect to invest in our economy and to create jobs. >> the president suggested that you walk away from this because you cannot control your own caucus. there are people -- there are republicans -- we have republicans who say the default is not something they are concerned about and do not want to see a debt ceiling raised under any circumstances. is there a sense that you were pressured to walk away from something that you might otherwise have --
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>> absolutely not. i give the president's proposal serious consideration. but let's understand something -- there was an agreement. there was an agreement with the white house of $800 billion in revenue. it is the president who walked away from his agreement and demanded more money at the last minute. and the only way to get that extra revenue was to raise taxes. >> at this point, what is the likelihood of doing a short-term debt limit increase? >> the president and i have never discussed a short-term increase in the debt limit. i am not really interested in a short-term increase in the debt limit. i believe we have two challenges. we have to increase the debt limit, and we have to deal with our deficits and debt. the sooner we do that, the better off our country will be. >> we began today with three possible options -- cut, cap,
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balannce has failed in the senate. the big deal has collapsed. what else is there to do? >> i will be working with the bipartisan congressional leaders on a path forward, and i am confident that congress can act next week and not jeopardize the full faith and credit of the united states government. >> congressional leaders issued statements about the debt and deficit discussions earlier. you can find those all online at our website in the featured links section just down on the lower right hand side of the page. meanwhile, the senate voted on legislation that republicans
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passed in the house and earlier this week, tying an increase in borrowing authority to a substantial program of spending cuts, including restraints on social security and medicare. the senate would defeat the measure 51-46 along strict party lines. here is the final hour of the floor debate in the senate. privileges during the consideration of the bill. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: in about an hour we'll vote on the so-called cut, cap, and balance legislation. as i said before, in fact just a few minutes ago, this is one of the worst pieces of legislation to ever be placed on the floor of the united states senate. it violates the spirit of our constitution and certainly what we're trying to accomplish here in washington. and we as we as a senate refuse to waste even one more day on this piece of legislation. we have 11 days left before the united states simply stopped paying its bills. and frankly, we have wasted too
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much time already on this. united states house of representatives needs to know this legislation has expired. it is gone. republicans wanted to vote on and iraq -- an erratic plan to kill medicare and social security. crisis n. an hour they'll get this chance. at least one republican senator went toefr a large gathering in the house of representatives, i'm told, and said we're going to get at least 60 votes on this. please, mr. president, their extreme plan would within 25 years cut in half every federal benefit on the books including social security, medicare, medicaid, military pay, veterans benefits and much more. meanwhile it would erect constitutional amendments for special interests, the millionaires and billionaires who are able to buy those yachts and corporate jets for which they get tax benefits.
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republicans demand we pass this radical proposal before they even consider cooperating with democrats to avert a crisis that would rock the globe. they are demanding the death of medicare and social security as its ransom. we all know their failed prescription will fail here in the united states senate. they do not have the votes to pass a plan that would pwalt budget on the -- balance the budget on the backs of seniors and middle-class families. and so we must move on, mr. president. i want to be very, very clear. there is simply no more time to waste debating and voting on measures that have no hopes of becoming law. we have no more time to waste playing partisan games. as the saying goes, indecision becomes decision with time. our time is running out before this gridlock, this refusal by
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the other side to move an inch toward compromise becomes a decision to default on our debt. the markets are already reacting to our inaction. ever responsible voice, including those of my republican colleagues, many of them at least, warned much worse is to come if we don't take action and take it soon. that's a risk we can't afford to take. i ask my republican colleagues again to join democrats in seeking common ground. the american people have demanded it of us. overwhelmingly they have said the national default is a serious problem and that is an understatement and both parties of congress must meet in the middle. we all know, mr. president, there are talks going on between president obama and speaker boehner. i wish them well. we await their efforts. i'm told there will be revenue measures in that. if that's the case, we know constitutionally the matter must start in the house of representatives. i say to both the president and
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to the speaker here on the senate floor, representing my democrats, and i'm confident many republicans, be very careful. show a lot of caution as this negotiation goes forward because any arrangement must be fair to all america, not just the wealthy. would the chair announce proceedings for this morning. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the leadership time is reserved. under the previous order, the senate will resume consideration of the motion to proceed to h.r. 2560, which the clerk will report. the clerk: motion to proceed to the consideration of h.r. 2560, an act to cut, cap, and balance the federal budget. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the time until 10:00 a.m. shall be equally divided between the two
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leaders or their designees. the senator from north dakota. mr. conrad: mr. president, in about an hour we are going to vote on a package that was sent this body by the house of representatives. let me first comment on the context within which we consider this legislation. i think it's very important to remind our colleagues and remind citizens across the country who are perhaps watching and listening that our country is borrowing more than 40 cents of every dollar that we spend. that is unsustainable. it cannot be continued for long. mr. president, i think all of us know that the circumstance that we are in is extraordinarily serious. here's what the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff told us just a year ago. our national debt is our biggest national security threat.
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mr. president, i believe that that's the case. our gross debt now is approaching 100% of the gross domestic product of the united states. we've not seen a debt that high since after world war ii. mr. president, it is extraordinarily important that we take on this debt threat. it is extraordinarily important for our country's future economic well-being that we change course. mr. president, the legislation that has been sent to us by the house is one of the most ill considered, ill-conceived, internally inconsistent pieces of legislation that i have seen in my 25 years here in the united states senate. it has all the earmarks of something that was hastily thrown together, really pieced it together. and this legislation includes an
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amendment to the constitution of the united states. mr. president, we are better than this. the congress is better than this. certainly the country is better than this. let me just be brief. the fundamental problems with the balanced budget amendment are as follows: one, it restricts the ability to respond to economic downturns, having all the potential to make an economic downturn even more serious. it uses social security funds to calculate balance and subjects that important program to the same cuts as other federal spending, even know it is funded separately. mr. president, it shifts the ultimate decisions on budgeting in this country to unelected judges and unaccountable judges.
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finally, it provides for state ratification process that could take years to complete. we need a long-term debt resolution now, not in the sweet by-and-by. mr. president, the proposal before us has all of the potential to turn a recession into a depression. why do i say that? because, mr. president, it would prevent congress from taking urgent action to provide lift to the economy in the midst of a severe economic downturn. here's what norman ornstein, a distinguished scholar at the american enterprise institute said about it, "few ideas are more is he ductive on the -- stkubgtive on the service than a balanced budget amendment to the constitution. nearly all of our states have budget requires. when the economy slows states
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are forced to slash spending at just the wrong time, providing a fiscal drag when what is needed it countercyclical policy to stimulate the economy. the fiscal drag from the states in 2009 and 2010 was barely countered by the federal stimulus plan. that meant the federal stimulus provided was nowhere near what was needed but far better than doing nothing. now imagine that scenario with a federal drag instead. mr. president, "the washington post" editorialized, worse yet, the latest version of the balanced budget amendment would impose an absolute cap on spending as a share of the economy. it would prevent federal expenditures from exceeding 18% of the gross domestic product in any year. most unfortunately, the amendment lacks a clause letting the government exceed that limit to strengthen a struggling economy. mr. president, that has all of
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the potential to turn a recession into a depression. two of this country's most distinguished economists: alan blinder, former vice chairman of the federal reserve; and mark zandi former consultant advisor to this senator mccain evaluated the response to the last downturn. their conclusion: absent that federal response, we would have had great depression 2.0. mr. president, the legislation before us would have prevented that federal response. they call this legislation cut, cap, and balance. they misnamed it. they should have called it cut, cap, and kill medicare. because that's precisely what it would do. mr. president, why do i say that? because when i referred earlier to the internal -- inconsistency of this legislation, this is
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what i was referring to: they have two different spending caps in the lilings befor in the us. in one part of the legislation, they say the spending cap would take spendin spending from 24.1f g.d.p. to 19.9%. that's in one part of the bill before us. in another part of the bill -- constitutional amendment -- they say, the spending cap would be 18% of g.d.p. so i don't know who cooked this up, but you'd think they'd have at least gotten on the same page as to what is the limitation on spending. what does it mean if you have a balanced budget amendment with a cap of 18% of g.d.p.? well, mr. president, here's what it means. and, by the way, the constitutional provision would
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certainly trump the conflicting provision that's in this legislation. so the cap would not be 19% of g.d.p. the cap would b would not be 19. what would it be? it would be 18% of g.d.p. if you fund just social security, defense, and other nonhealth spending and interest on the debt, you're at 18% of g.d.p. there's not a dime left for medicare. there's not a dime left for medicaid. is that really what they intended? it must be, because that's what it says. so medicare is finished. medicaid is finished.
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anybody that votes for this better understand what they're voting to do. mr. president, here is a former top economic advisor to president reagan. here's what he said about the amendment that is before us: "in short, this is quite possibly the stupidest constitutional amendment i think i have ever seen. it looks like it was drafted by a couple of interns on the back of a napkin. every senator cosponsoring this legislation should be ashamed of themselves." mr. president, that's a former top economic advisor to ronald reagan. i've been here 25 years. i don't think i have ever seen a piece of legislation more unprofessionally constructed than the legislation before us.
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but those aren't the only problems. when they said -- they titled this "cut, cap, and balance," they could have also called it preserve, protect, and defend tax havens and tax shelters, because that's the other consequence of this legislation. why do i say that? because it would take a two-thirds vote to increase revenue -- two-thirds vote. that means attempts to shut down these offshore tax havens, these abusive tax shelters, because they'd rave revenue, would take a two-thirds vote. now, what does that mean? well, here's a little building down in the cayman islands i've talked about many times, a little five-story building, claims to be home to 18,857 companies. they all claim they're doing business out of this little building. i have sea aid this is the most efficient -- i've said this is the most efficient building in the world. quite remarkable.
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18,857 companies are doing the business out of this little five-story building. and i'm told there are not many people coming and going from this building during the day. are 18,000 companies really doing their business -- they call this headquarters. that really their headquarters? we all know it's not their headquarters. we all know what's going on. it's not business. it's monkey business. what they're doing down there is avoiding the taxes that all the rest of us pay. and this amendment would protect this scheme. you want to protect this scheme, vote for this amendment. mr. president, how big is this scheme? well, here's what our own permanent subcommittee on investigations has told us: "experts have estimated that the total loss to the treasury from
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offshore tax evasion alone approaches $100 billion per year, including $40 billion to $70 billion from individuals and another $30 billion from corporations engaging in offshore tax evasion. abusive tax shelters add tens of billions of dollars more." mr. president, you want to lock in these abuses? you prefer to pay more in taxes yourself so that people can engage in these scams? vote for this amendment. vote for the legislation that's before us. vote for what is on the floor because you'll protect them forever more. mr. president, i end as i began. this is perhaps the most ill-conceived, ill-considered, internally inconsistent legislation that i have ever seen in my 25 years in the united states senate. i hope my colleagues have the wisdom to vote "no." i thank the chair and yield the floor.
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the presiding officer: the senator indiana. mr. coats: mr. president, i just would like t the chamber to know that today marks the 88th birthday of one of the great members of this senate body, a true american hero, former majority leader bob dole. and as i reflect on the extraordinary life he has led -- and i had the privilege of serving under him as a united states senator and working with him in the private sector getting to know he and his wife well -- i cannot help but note that the leadership that he provided in comparison to the lack of leadership that is being provided in this body now stands in great contrast. there is an absence of leadership here and a seriousness of purpose that bob dole would never have allowed, had he been majority leader. i say that because i come to the floor today greatly troubled by the remarks that were made here in this senate yesterday and
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again this morning by the majority leader regarding the bill that is before us. the issue here takes two tracks. one of which is the content of the amendment in the bill that is before us that was voted on by the house of representatives, passed by the house of representatives, and sent over for us to debate and pass here. we can disagree -- and i think there's been some misrepresentation of what this bill actually does. we can disagree about the contents of it, but we have an obligation and a responsibility to debate those contents and to put every member of this body on a position of saying "yea" or "nay" on amendments that might be offered to improve it or to dhaing ichange it or to modify d
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finally whether or not to support it or not support t that is vote on a motion to table. you know, thraw there are a couf definitions of "table. " more than a couple. but one of those is tabling -- getting to the table to negotiate something, just as the nfl players and owners are doing much more seriously and with much more consequences to the future of this country, what we ought to be doing. putting it on the table, debating it, and addressing it, expressing your support or nonsupport, defending it, characterizing, mischaracterizations -- that's what this body is about. it is the world's greatest deliberative body is deciding not to deliberate this bill at all. the second definition of "table" is taking it off the table so the majority leader has said, i'm not going to allow you to debate it. i'm not going to allow amendments. i'm not going to allow up-or-down votes so the american
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people know where we are. this is a vote to table so we don't even have the opportunity to debate it. now, it was the majority leader himself who said we're going to be in session every day until we get this thing settlemen settle. now he comes down here and says, i am neat going to waste one more day on this. senators who were told we're going to be here every day, we'll be here on so saturday, ad now says we can go home. what kind of leadership that? we don't know whether we're supposed to be here or not supposed to be here? what's happening with one of the most serious crises that we're facing, the country that is ever seen, particularly in the financial area, it is "the" most serious, except for maybe the great depression. and we're told, we don't even have time to debate this, this is a waste of time. i quote the unbelievable
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statements that have been made by the majority leader. this piece of legislation is about as weak and senseless as anything that is ever come on this senate floor? really? i could spend a half an hour talking about senseless legislation, egregious legislation, discriminatory legislation that is ham com haso this floor and debated and not just tabled. to characterize the serious efforts of the members of the house of representatives and the members of the senate, including some democrat members, of trying to fix this problem, to characterize that as senseless and wasteless, i'm not going to send one more day of time on this senseless legislation. i thought, on reflection, the majority leader would come here this morning and say, perhaps i overstated the problem. let me better explain where i think we are and where we need to go. but, no, he comes down and he doubles down this morning, doubles down and says, it's
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very, very bad piece of legislation, without merit, it gets in the way, gets in the way. talking about dealing with cutting spending that we know we can't afford, talk about putting some caps on it so we don't keep doing this in the future, so we have a path to fiscal responsibility, talking about a balanced budget so we live within our means? that's getting in the way? this body has failed its responsibility to be faithful to the constitution and faithful to the people of america. and, as a consequence of that, we're signature here saying, we're not even -- we're sitting here saying we're not even going to debate something that is brought forward with hundreds of thousands of hours of effort. maybe you don't like t maybe you don't agree with it. we will, stand up and say so -- well, stand up and say so and tell us what you want to do about it. the majority leader and his
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party has not brought one piece of legislation to this floor. the president has not offered one number, one proposal in writing that we can work with. we have not had the opportunity to debate for one minute anything that the other side has offered. and so we bring something forward and iter it's called a worthless piece of junk. is that what the american people sent us here to do? i came here to find a result, a result to the dire fiscal situation that our people are in. and the majority leader comes down here and says, we are not responding to the will of the people. where hayes been? what planet is he on? responding to the will of the people? they're sick and tired of government spending more money than it has. they're sick and tired of being told they're handing over to their children debts that are never going to be aibl able to e repaid. and we're told that we want to take this off the table so we can't even debate it? i woke up in the middle of the night so frustrated and so angry, after spending last
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evening saying i'm hopeful that we can come together and work something out. and the well get gets poisoned t evening by the majority leader and gets poisoned this morning. those of us who work our tails off are told this is a piece of junk. that's not what we came here to do. i i didn't come here to get mad. i came here to be senatorial and i've parntsly not done that. -- and i've apparently not done that. they're mooting in back rooms together -- they're meeting in back rooms together, signing letters to the president to ask him to step up. 32 democrats and 32 republicans. the president ignores that and does nothing until the very end and comes here to try to bail it out. look at me, i took care of everything while america is worried to death about the future.
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to say we haven't done anything but put forward a piece of worthless legislation is so worthless we're not going to allow us to talk about it or debate it, not allow amendments to take place, not give it the respect that it's due -- so you don't like it come down here and tell us why you don't like t and let us have a vote on why you don't like it. instead of saying take it off the table. i guess we're all getting frustrated. it's 100-something degrees heat index outside and i can understand some of us getting worked up about this thing but the future of america is at stake and this majority leader is not allowing to us deal with it. with that, i yield the floor. mr. johanns: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from nebraska. mr. johanns: mr. president, i stand here today as a cosponsor of the cut, cap, and balance legislation and as a supporter of that legislation. here's the insanity that has
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gripped not only this body, but all of washington. we are literally in a year where we will have the third year in a row of deficit over $1 trillion. in fact, current projections are that this annual deficit will set a record, a very dubious record, i might add, of $1.6 trillion-plus we were promised three years ago that if this enormous, gargantuan effort to force more spending into the economy with the stimulus plan were passed, that $1 trillion effort, it would put this country on a path to recovery.
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and it has done nothing except raise our debt and pass the problem on to our children and grandchildren. so after weeks and months of work, on an idea to rein in the spending and to come to grips with where we are at in the country, we are literally at a point where within minutes we will vote on a motion to table that effort, and we will be right back to where we are today. we will be right back to a situation where we will face trillion-dollar deficits. we will be right back to a situation where every economist in the world is telling the united states of america, the largest economy, that your spending is not sustainable. we will be right back to rating agencies looking at our government debt and saying you
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have not come up with a plan to rein this in, and so you are being targeted to be downgraded. but what we are really right back to is this: we have a government too big, we have too many promises that have been made where no one had any idea how they would be paid for. by the end of the year we will have a deficit of $15 trillion, which is significantly understated. in four more years, we will have a deficit, a debt of $20 trillion, which will still be significantly understated. and somehow there are members of this body that are arguing this is a better way, table cut, cap, and balance so we can return to
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where we are at today. is it any wonder that those of us who are concerned about this and concerned about the future of our children and grandchildren are coming to the floor and saying wait a minute, this is destroying our nation. mr. president, i rise today as i have many times over the last days to say support this effort. support cut, cap, and balance. i am pleased to be a cosponsor of this legislation, this very important legislation that has the potential to change the direction of what we're doing, and i am going to be one of the people that supports this legislation today in my vote. mr. president, with that, i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from south dakota.
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mr. thune: mr. president, i want to echo the comments of my colleague from nebraska and my colleague from indiana, all of whom have come down here to express their support for the cut, cap, and balance approach to dealing with this debt crisis that we're facing today, and point out that it passed in the house of representatives a few nights ago. it had 234 votes, and it is the only plan out there. as my colleague from indiana has said, the president, the democrat leadership here in the senate has yet to produce a plan that will meaningfully deal with the greatest crisis that our country has faced in my service here in the united states congress. and that is this massive out-of-control debt that as the senator from nebraska pointed out could lead to much higher interest rates along the lines of whether we're seeing in some of our european countries, which would absolutely crush this
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economy. if we are serious about growing the economy and creating jobs, we have got to get federal spending under control. we need a smaller federal economy and a larger private economy. and what's been happening here since this president took office is we continue to grow government. we've added 35% to the debt, spending in increase by 24% nonnational security discretionary spending in the last two years at a time when inflation was 2% in the overall economy, federal spending has been growing at ten times the rate of inflation. the number of people who are receiving food stamps have gone up by 40%. the unemployment rate is up by 18%. there are 2.1 million more people unemployed today than there were when this president took office. the policies of this administration are not working when it comes to getting people back to work and getting spending and debt under control. i was listening with great interest to my colleague from north dakota who was down here on the floor earlier denouncing
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the whole idea of a balanced budget amendment like it was coming from some foreign planet, and talked about how ill-conceived and ill-considered and stupid this approach, this cut, cap, and balance approach, is. well, my observation about that, mr. president, is that the democrat failure to produce a budget in over 800 days is exhibit number one for why we need a balanced budget amendment. we ought to be embarrassed here in washington, d.c. we are not doing the people's work. we haven't passed a budget in over 800 days. and yet, the other side comes down here and denounces the idea of a balanced budget amendment, which 49 states have some form of balanced budget amendment that requires them every single year to balance their budget. my colleague from north dakota knows that. his state has it. my state of south dakota has it. it's a very straightforward concept that the people of this
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country clearly understand. now, if it takes issue with the way this particular balanced budget amendment is written, fine. come up with your own proposal. but don't suggest that having a constitutional amendment that requires this place to do something that it hasn't been doing for literally the last 25 or 30 years is a bad idea. what we've got today is dysfunctional. it is broken. it does not work fork the american people. it's -- it does not work for the american people. it's an embarrassment, mr. president. that's why we need something. we've got to put something on the books that will impose discipline on this congress to get spending and debt back under control and have us start doing something about the runaway debt that is putting a crushing burden on future generations of americans. if you don't like this balanced proposal, the cut, cap, and balance proposal is not prescriptive about this particular balanced budget amendment that many of us are cosponsors of, come up with another one. but let's put something in place
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that enshrines a responsibility and obligation and a requirement for us every single year to live within our means. we cannot continue to spend money that we don't have. and we have demonstrated year over year over year around here that we continue to add more and more and more to this debt. and under the president's proposal, budget proposal, that debt would have doubled in the next decade. that's why i think when his budget proposal was put on the floor of the united states senate it got zero votes. not a single democrat or a single republican voted in favor of what this president put forward in his budget submission earlier this year. since that time there's been absolute lack of leadership out of the white house. the president has been completely missing in action. the democrat leadership, as i said, has put forward no idea, no plan of their own. we have in front of us something that achieved majority support in the house of representatives a few nights ago, 234 members of the house of representatives voted for this. it is a serious, meaningful effort to cut spending now, to
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cap it in future years and to put in place a balanced budget amendment that is long overdue and which, frankly, if it passed 15 years ago in the united states senate, we would not be in the position that we are today. it failed by one single vote in the united states senate back in 1997, and i can only help but think, mr. president, how much better off we would be today in terms of the spending and debt situation that is facing this country had we gotten the necessary two-thirds vote back in 1997. but it's never too late to do the right thing, and we have an opportunity to do that today. and i think to hear our colleagues get up on the other side and belittle the effort that has been made by a lot of people around here who are trying to do something about a problem, a problem that is going to wreck this country if we don't fix it, is not befitting of this institution. and so i hope my colleagues today will allow us -- this is going to be a tabling motion now, i guess, instead of a debate about cut, cap, and balance because they've decided
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this isn't worthy of consideration on the floor of the united states senate. i think it's a terrible reflection on this institution that something is brought forward in good faith, a serious, meaningful effort to address spending and debt and to put this country back on a sustainable fiscal course, and we're not even going to have a debate on it. we're going to have a tabling motion in a few minutes. i hope my colleagues will defeat that tabling motion, allow us to continue to debate this and to get an up-or-down vote on something that i think is a correct approach and something that will meaningfully address the serious problem this country faces. mr. president, i yield the floor. mr. leahy: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from vermont. mr. leahy: mr. president, unlike any republican in the house or the senate, i have voted for a balanced budget. we balanced the budget under president clinton. not only balanced the budget, started paying down the national debt. he was able to leave hundreds of billions of dollars in surplus to his successor who determined
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with republican votes to go to war in iraq and pay for the war with a tax cut. that's why we had to borrow the money from china and saudi arabia. not a single republican voted for a real balanced budget when they had a chance to. in fact, it passed in the senate only because vice president gore came and broke the tie. i was proud to vote for that balanced budget. not a gimmick, but a real balanced budget. we had to actually make tough choices. we did. we balanced it. we had a surplus. but when you talk about amending our nation's fundamental charter, the constitution of the united states, it's not something congress and the american people should feel forced to do in the face of a financial crisis. i take seriously my senatorial oath to support and defend the constitution.
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now i know that there are a lot of pressure groups demanding elected representatives sign pledges about what they will and will not do. the pledge i follow, the one i was honored to make at the beginning of this congress, is to uphold the constitution. that's what i intend to do as i represent the people of vermont. the house-passed bill, h.r. 2560, which the senate is now considering, claims to oppose a balanced budget of future congresses but it doesn't even contain the proposed constitutional amendment the supporters are seeking to adopt. nor did the bill pass with a two-thirds of the republican-controlled house voting in favor. that threshold is what is required, of course, to pass a constitutional amendment. the house vote was more than 50 votes short of that necessary number. the process by which this bill has been brought to the floor of the senate is an affront to the constitution that we're sworn to
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protect and defend. indeed, the house bill denies authority to meet the nation's obligations until congress passes a type of constitutional amendment that will actually make it more difficult to reduce our national debt. that kind of constitutional blackmail has no place in a democracy, no place in our laws. it's why the founders did not include a constitutional requirement for a balanced budget or prohibition against incurring debt in our constitution. they knew full well that would have been foolish and dangerous and self-defeating the nation they were seeking to establish. and i respect the wisdom of the founders to uphold the constitution which has served this nation so well for the last 223 years. let us not be so vain to think we know better than the founders what the constitution should prescribe. i reject the notion that for political reasons we need to rush consideration of an
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ill-conceived and evolving proposal for a constitutional amendment. i'm going to stand with the founders. i'll defend their work and our constitution and oppose a proposed series of constitutional amendments which incidentally hasn't even had a hearing. amend the constitution and we haven't even had a hearing on it. amendments to the constitution of the united states are permanent. they're not bills or resolutions that can be abandoned or fixed. they are not just a butcher sticker or a sound bite. each word matters to hundreds of millions of americans and future generations. i have never seen -- and i have been here 37 years -- i've never seen the solemn duty of protecting the constitution treated in such a cavalier manner. i wish that those who so o say they revere the constitution would show it the respect it deserves rather than treating it like a blog entry.
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i'm concerned how some in recent years have sought to impose their view by unilateral objection to compromise with minority obstruction. that has, at times, seemed to be the rule in the last few years. some have tried to undermine the legitimacy of president obama. filibusters and requirements for supermajorities have become routine. they've stymied congressional action on the part of the american people. this year should be a cautionary tale that convinces all americans that the risk of default and ideological impasse risks us. i need only recall the game of chicken earlier this year. i cannot help but think, we
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don't take the steps we should, we see our interest rates go up, we'll spend hundreds of billions of dollars in extra interest to china, which they can spend on infrastructure, they can spend on medical research, they can spend on education; we won't have it here in the united states. that's what the other side seems to want. we've seen the danger that irresponsible brinkmanship can promote. we should guard against it, building into the constitution a supermajority requirement for fiscal policy invites political blackmail and gridlock fl we've seen enough of that already. the source of our budgetary problems does not lie with the constitution. the constitution remains sound. the fault lies with those who will not work with the president to achieve results that will help the american people. it is lacking the political courage to do what is right. the last time we balanced a
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budget, not a single republican voted for that balanced budget. yet it created enormous surpluses. these proposed constitutional amendments would not cut a single dime from the debt or federal budget. rather than deal with our problems, some want to require that we deface the constitution with a measure that will by its own terms not be effective for five years, if it were to be adopted by two-thirds of both houses, the congress, and then ratified by three-fourths of the states. put that another way, at least three election cycles from now. we get our bumper stickers today but we kick the can down the road three election cycles. congress has the power now to take steps to avoid a government's default, get us on the path to rebalancing the budget. just as we did at the end of the clinton administration. this debate is a distraction from the hard work and hard choices, thchoices that immediae
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made. -- that need to be made. proposed amendments to the constitution are not just unnecessary, they're unwise, dangerous. in my view, the house-passed bill, the proposed amendment, demeans our constitution. never in our history have we amended the constitution, the work of our founders, impose budgetary restreekses or required supermajorities for passing legislation and now we're saying, let's do it, let's do it on a whim, let's do it without any hearings, let's do it because we can do it. well, all senators swear an oath to support and defend the constitution of the united states. that's our duty and responsibility. the constitution has allowed america to flourish, adapt to new challenges. we have amended it only 17 times since the bill of rights. our constitution deserves protection. i stand with the constitution today. i'm going to support the motion
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to table this ill-conceived legislation. mr. president, i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from south carolina. mr. graham: how much time is left on our side? the presiding officer: five minutes. mr. graham: will you let me know when we have four minutes -- four minutes has expired? okay. someone else wants to talk. thank you, mr. president. in 2010 we had a major election in the country. the people who were elected in the house made promises to their constituents that if you sent me to congress i would try to change the system and deal with the fact that our nation is being run into the ground. we've got more debt than any future generation can ever pay off. 40 cents of every dollar we spend is borrowed money that if you are born today, you inherit about $48,000 of debt that we're spending more on social security payments than we collect in
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taxes; medicare is underfunded by $30-something trillion over the next 75 years. when you add up all employment programs, we're about $50 trillion short of the promises we've made. simply put, the house republicans who were elected during their campaigns said that i believe congress is out of control. we're going to become greece and i'd like to do something about t well, what did you expect what they got here? that they'd just say, okay, i've been taught the real way that the congress works and it's all okay? they did something about it. congratulations. anytime a person running for office fulfills the promises they made to their constituents, they've done, i think, a great service to democracy. cut, cap, and balance is a house effort to reduce spending, not ten years from now but this coming year. the problem with all these plans, is h very sincere probleo
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solve our budget problems in the past, gramm-rudman-hollings, between president clinton and the republicans, we achieved balance because we restricted the growth of entitlements, we restricted the growth of doctor and hospital payments, then we found out how much it was hurting doctors and hospitals. we began to nickle-and-dime doctors and hospitals and guess what? we stopped the program and we spent all of the surpluses. how do you get $14-plus trillion in debt? both parties are working together. this has been a bipartisan effort for about 30 years to run the country in the ground. i like to have a bipartisan effort to save the country from becoming greece and the only way you can do that is put ideas on the table. please to my democratic colleagues, let this debate go forward. if this is not worth debating, what would be? how do you save the country from becoming a debtor nation to the point that the next generation
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can't inherit the american dream? if you've got a better plan than cut, cap, and balance, please show it to us. we're willing to raise the debt limit but we're not going to do it without change the reason we got in debt venal the cut part reduces spending in 12 20* 12 by $1 00 billion. that will cause some pain, but it is doable. it is about 3% or 4% of the federal budget. i think most people at home think they can cut their budget 3 oregon 4% to -- 3% or 4% to save their feasm the cap an effort to wipe out the $1.4 trillion deficit. we're going become greece because we're going to have 100% of debt to g.d.p. in the next 20 years and $1-plus trillion deficit has to be changed and you can't do it overnight, but you should be able to do it over ten years. and the centerpiece of the house legislation is a balanced budget amendment to the constitution. what rational person really believes that republicans on this side and democrats on that
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side are ever going to find a way to fix our nation's problems without something new happening? the presiding officer: the senator has consumed four minutes. greenhouse gamr. graham: thank . after 40 years, the evidence is income tax the congress is broken. unless you change the system, fundamentally we're going to run our nation into the ground. so i support a balanced budget amendment. and here's the way it works. you got to get two-thirds in the senate and the house and three-fourths of the states have to ratify the balanced budget amendment. give the people of america a chance to have their say. let pass a balanced budget amendment to the constitution before we take the country and put it in a situation beyond redemption. and the only thing that's ever going to change in body, i'm sad to say, is some discipline imposed by the constitution itself. so i promise my colleagues to work with you where i can. but for the rest of my time in the senate -- and i don't know how long it's going to be -- i'm
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going to push a balanced budget amendment to the constitution because i don't trust the congress to do the hard things on their own. and when i say that i mean republicans, too. i yield. mr. manchin: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from west virginia. mr. manchin: i rise today to speak of one of my greatest concerns, which is our nation's fiscal future. all of us, democrats and republicans, liberals, mod pratts, conservatives, face a choice about whether we'll seats moment before us -- we'll seize the moment before us or whether we will let this moment pass us by. clearly we face tough and difficult decisions. the decision we make as members of congress must be the right and responsible ones or our beloved nation and our hardworking families will needlessly suffer. in my state when i became
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governor, we faced challenging times, growing debts, tough budget choices and when i was first elected in november of 2004, the first thing i did afterwards is going to new york and talk to the rating agencies to find out what our gravest challenges were. we took those challenges dish went back home and we started making changes much the first thing did i was not blame anybody, any past administration, republican or democrat, or any other body. i was elected to fix things, not to put blame on people. and we started, as west virginians, not as democrats or republicans, about if if i fixe problems of our state. we didn't raise tax rates. people came to me and said, needed to do that. but i couldn't do that without trying to run our state more efficiently. the difference between what we did back home and what's happening here in washington is that we faced these choices together. we worked across party lines in
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a responsible way to address our fiscal challenges and in doing so we set our state on the right fiscal path, and without -- let me stress again, without sacrificing our moral responsibility or obligations to our seniors, our veterans, and the people most challenged in our society. and we did that without raising their tax rates. right now, because we made the right choices, our state is doing well. even in the most difficult, challenging "financial times," we've had record surpluses every year, six years in a row. for the last three years we're one of the few states in the nation that's got an increase in our rating from the standard & poor's, moody's and fitch's, the rating agencies. we did all this by living within our means. it is the reason why i'm such a strong supporter of a balanced budget amendment. it makes #u put your priorities based on what our values are in place. i truly believe that most americans support a balanced
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budget. every family that i know in my state and in this nation works off of some sort of a budget. nearly all of our state governments operate on a balanced budget amendment. i have never seen another place except here at our nation's capital, at our government in washington, that puts a budget together based on what they want to spend and not on how much they have to spend. but how we balance our budget is critically important. we have a moral responsibility and an obligation to our seniors, our families, and those who are the most fragile if our challenged society. that is why i cannot support the cut, cap, and balance plan passed in the harks which we will be voting on shortly. as a moderate democrat who is also a proud fiscal conservative, i agree with that bill's goal of a balanced budget. however, i cannot support the naught it takes. the cap cap plan does not reflect who we are or what we
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want to be os americans. i believe we need to cut but not so deeply without regard for our sarnsdz most vulnerable. i believe we need a cap on our spending but not at a level that could destroy the most important and vital programs that we have in society. i strongly believe that we need balanced -- a balanced budget amendment, but only one that takes a responsible and reasonable approach. clearly, we can all agree that it is time for us to make the difficult choice that will get our financial house in order, but we must do with the right plan and in a responsible manner that keeps our promises to our seniors, our veterans, and most importantly our children. and like it or not, neither democrats nor republicans can take l this enormous challenge on their own. this is not a political problem. this is an american problem, one that we all face. we should put politics aside and truly put our country first. earlier this week i saw that spirit at its finest on tuesday of this past week, when you,
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mr. president, along with 49 other of our colleagues, came together to listen to the gang of six who worked so hard based off of the president's fiscal debt commission. democrats and republicans -- the presiding officer: the senate will be in order. mr. manchin: democrats and republicans rolled out the first bipartisan proposal to address the nation's fiscal nightmare. at that meeting senators from both parties evenly split came together to listen to the hard work of the senators who spanned the ideological spectrum. at that moment the gang of six turned into what we affectionately call the mob of 50. and for the first time in these negotiations about our fiscal future, we had a bipartisan plan with momentum that was putting our country first. mr. president, we should not waste this moment. we must work together to cut spending and attack waste, fraud and abuse in every sector of our state and our country. every department, every program that needlessly costs our nation
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hundreds of billions of dollars every year, we must work together to reform our tax code not to raise tax rates but to make fairness a priority, and it's simply unfair that hardworking middle-class families in west virginia and all around this great country would pay more in taxes than a fortune 500 country like g.e. which didn't pay a cent or billionaires like warren buffet -- the presiding officer: the senator's time -- mr. manchin: democrats and republicans must work together to eliminate loopholes. and it's time to end the three wars that we have on which we're spending so much and the resources we can't afford and the lives we can't spare. mr. president, i say to all this is a time for us to come together as americans, to put our politics aside and do what is right for all of the future of this generation and for this country. thank you, i yield the floor. mr. reid: mr. president, i'm going to terminate my remarks very quickly. i want to say to my friend from west virginia, he's been a great
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addition to the united states senate. we, of course, know he replaced the great, legendary robert byrd. the people of west virginia should be happy with the peformance of joe manchin. his executive experience as governor of the state of west virginia which had an impeccable record of surpluses every year he was there. he's brought this talent to washington and has been very helpful to us all. mr. mcconnell: mr. president? the presiding officer: the republican leader. mr. mcconnell: five months ago president obama unveiled the only concrete statement he's made to date on our nation's debt crisis. continue a budget plan so preposterous, so unequal to the moment that it was rejected in the senate by a vote of 97-0. the president's response to this crisis was to pretend it didn't exist. two months later the president doubled down on his vision for a future of debt by demanding that congress raise the debt limit
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without any cuts to spending or a plan to rein it in. it was a total abdication of leadership, and it wasn't sustainable. so over the past several weeks the president has been doing his best impersonation of a fiscal moderate. he's talked about balance and left it to others to fill in the blanks. and here's what democrats in congress have proposed as a solution: more spending and higher taxes as a solution to a debt crisis. just yesterday with the clock ticking, we heard reports of a volcanic eruption among democrats that we should solve this crisis by focusing on reducing washington spending. well, mr. president, the solution to this crisis is not complicated. if you're spending more money than you're taking in, you need to spend less money. this isn't rocket science. we could solve this problem this morning if democrats would let us vote on cut, cap, and balance
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and join us in backing this legislation that republicans support. but the first step in solving a problem is to admit you have one, and too many democrats refuse to admit that washington has a spending problem. that's why republicans have insisted that we focus on spending in this debate. the reason we've got a $14 trillion debt is because no matter how much money washington has, it always spends more. and the only twaoeu cure the problem -- and the only way to cure the problem is to stop enabling it. americans get it. i want to thank every american who has spoken out in favor of cut, cap, and balance. today the american people will know where we stand. a vote to table this bill is a vote to ignore this crisis even longer. a vote to get on this bill is a vote for getting our house in order. so i would urge my democratic colleagues one more time to reconsider their position, join
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us in support of a future we can afford. mr. president, i yield the floor. mr. reid: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: i say to my, all my friends, the new senators, welcome to the united states senate. this is a vote on the piece of legislation that was described by my friend, the chairman of the judiciary committee, about as well as anyone else. it is violative of our constitution. and this is a vote on this matter. and we're going to dispose of this legislation as it needs to be so president obama and the speaker can move forward on a matter that will have some revenue in it and send it over here and we can >> now have a discussion on the deficit talks with the oklahoma senator, tom coburn, from the so-called gang of six. this is "washington journal." c
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table. c he's joined the so-called gang of six in the senate which he left earlier, and also announced a $9 trillion debt scheme atic. we'll be talking about this and more. senator, headlines suggest that if there is a deal being crafted between the speaker and t between the speaker and t senate that your democratic colleagues in the senate are angry about being excluded from it. people are watching this mere yad of discussions. how do people understand where things are right now? guest: i don't really understand where they are. if they have negotiated something they agreed to, why would they complain? it is the whole washingto silliness of complaining because you don't know what's going on. nobody knows what's going on
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except the principals in the room, and when they come t something they file feel they can build a case for o both sides, they will put it out there. i was a part of the gang of six discussion. the idea is to get us moving. they should be listening. maybe they need to offer something themselves. that'seen the problem. we haven't had any offers. we have seen the republicans offering multiple things. we have a bill on the senate they are going to table that actually fixes the problem, raises the debt limit, and they don't want to vote on it, so we're going to table it. so i think it is all political posturing. host: you know frequently this town works to the brink. is there anything different about this time? do you think a deal will be
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done? guest: i certainly hope so. the root for us, as every american, is if we don't get a deal done, i think it will cost us a half of one percent. even if we got a deal done 10 days later, i think it costs us a half of one percent. that's $75 billion a year in terms of the damage to our credit. increased interest cost. i think another thing we need to do -- you have to ask what the problem is. the problem isn't the negotiation between the republicans and democrats, it is not between the president and the speaker. the problem is for us to maintain our debt rating we have to have a program that cuts about $4 trillion at a minimum about $4 trillion at a minimum over the next 10 years. every interest interest grurengs i was listening to your calls beforehand. every interest group says they don't want to get touched.
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theact is every interest group will be get touched. everybody that's comfortable with their benefit is going to be a little less comfortable if we're all as a country going to get out of this. host: we had number of callers saying congress should cut its own salary. i have a washington post article saying coburn should leave by example. what are you offering? >> cut our salary by 15%. actually, there wouldn't be anything wrong with cutting our salaries until we decrease the budget deficit. cut our expepses back 15%. we cut them back 5% this yeamplet in other words make us have to do some of the hard -- i mean, our budgets are ludicrous. i trim back $600,000 every year.
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>> you are allocated money -- >> that i don't need. what you have to ask is, if i can do that, can'tverybody? that's 20% of my budget. host: your 900 trillion plan, where is it going to go? >> it ising going to go anywhere now. no one is looking at it. this is the first time they ha researched what gao has said what the congressional research has said, what the individual inspector generals have said, what o.m.b. has said, plus we what o.m.b. has said, plus we have done our own research and said, gosh, given all these facts, common sense would say you do this. so there are 3,000 references in there to studies on our recommendations that we've made. and so i hope it becomes a place where people go to find out
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information about what we can cut. we could have done more. england just recently said you could recently cut 14% out of the pentagon. his assessment is that you could cut 14% of the civilian payroll out of the peg -- pentagon. that's $150 million over 10 years. that's a lot of money. host: what do you say about this being a naive cut? guest: washington doesn't cut because washington cares more about being re-elected than they do about the public. it comes from a lack of courage to stand up and do the best right thing for our country. when youre threw up -- through up here and you get out and the
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country is belly up r. you say, well i believe careerism is killing us. term limits and a balanced budget amendment, term limits and a balanced budget amendment would fix everything that's wrong with washington. wrong with washington. host: you answer this twitter questioner, which says, "would you vote for the house balanced budget in a recession?" guest: yes, because it will take a period of time for that to move through the states. we have to be careful how fast we cut, but we need to cut and we need to cut quickly. otherwise we're between two lanes. if we don't cut qckly enough, we're going to have the amount we cut in offset with increased interest costs if we cut too fast, i mean, we
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can cut fast, but if we t too fast, we'll have a negative impact on our economic growth. so we have to go down that line. that's why $4 trillion is a minimum. host: in the wall street journal this morning, his name is peter shelkin, he is a co-editor of understanding america, the anatomy of an exceptional nation. second year at law school. he one paragraph. "i can think of no other law that would alo judges to exercise more budget-making decision than a balanceed budget amendment. even if the courts simply did their job and did not grasp for that power." guest: we have a judge sitting on the bench today that should
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be impeached. the fact is you will never control washington with today's liticians until you put a bridle and a bit in their mouth that says you can't spend money you don't have. it won't hatch l happen. -- it won't happen. host: one more column. grover nor quift has a piece where he is explaining his position on taxes. "read my lips, no new taxes. why republicans should not relent." he was on our program and talking about you specifically. we want to replay that quote. >> the difference of opinions between coburn and americans for tax reform, between coburn and the 225 members that signed the pledge is we are for tax reform but not for tax increases, and
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coburn vote forward a $2 trillion tax increase when he endorsed obama's deficit plan. all three members of the republicans in the gang of six not only took the pledge not to raise taxes but then wrote me a letter saying, look, we are not going to raise taxes. we just want economic growth. i'm for that. coburn has publicly said in the past that likes tax increases. that passed him by. the republican leadership in the house made it clear that if coburn continues to be for tax increases, he's on his lonesome on that and no one else has joined him. host: senator coburn? guest: i think he represents the silliness of our political system tay. i don't want to raise taxes. i think it is terrible that we would have to raise more taxes. but if we're going to get in agreement in washington to fix our problems when those of us
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don't want to raise taxes control the house of representatives, don't control the senate, don't control the white house, it is pretty stupid and naive to think you are going to win that battle. i would rather fix our country and lose a battle with grover norquist then send our country norquist then send our country down the tubes and rse a point of view that is suicide. the fact is, in is a lot of way to enhance the federal government. reforming the tax de is a great way to do it. we have to get $4 trillion. that doesn't go away no matter what anybody says. the president didn't have a deficit plan. the president's commission had a deficit plan. he never enbraced it. you see the games played with the numbers, which aren't accurate. realistic things. plus, revens are at the lowest point. we're at 15.8%.
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revenues are as a percentage of g.d.p. i think there are tons of tax credits and things in the tax credits and things in the tax codes that are unfair that we ought to eliminate. anybody that gets something out of the tax code today in terms of the tax credit and the tax spend tour, you are paying for it if you didn't get one. it is a matter of shifting costs around. if youon't have a special deal on the tax code that you can take advantage of, you can actually pay more taxes. host: here is part of the plan, reduce the deficit $9 trillion over 10 years. reduce medicaid and medicare spending by $2.6 billion.
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eliminate $1 trillion in tax breaks. that is part of senator coburn's plan. the "gang of six "budget's plan is to reduce the deficit $4 trillion over 10 years, overhaul the tax code $1 trillion, immediate spending cuts of $500 billion. caller: i appreciate what you are saying, but i think the whole problem of everything that we're going through in this country right now has to come down tone simple thing. and that is separate ralte racial of powers. now, a lot of people get this miscon trude with oh, you mean separation of church and state. no. well, yes and no. in their derrick the church was the big power. kings and queens could not move without the permission of the church. nowadays it is big business.
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when you have big business influence washington, d.c., people like yourself, this is what you are going to get. you cannot have foxes guarding the hen house. host: all right. your response. guest: if you talk about specific tax credits, i think he's right. i don't think it is just big business. i think it is the aarp, i think it is the big labor unions. i think it is everybody. the whole fact is the federal the whole fact is the federal government is too big and it is in areas it shouldn't be. if you read the constitution, you also read the enumerated pers which gives limited powers to the federal government and specifically states everything not listed here is reserved for the people in the states. the reason we have a $3.6 trillion, $3.7 trillion budget, is a trillion and a half of that or more is stuff that's not our sponsibility in the first place.
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sho look, i'm one of the few republicans that stands up and says i think we need to eliminate some of these tax loopholes, but i think we need to do it in a way that doesn't grow the government. host: here's a commentrom kevin mccarthy. he writes "projected entitle ments areetween 25 and 50 billion. why are we not more focused on cutting this spending instead by fixing the current epidemic of illegal immigrants in the u.s.?" guest: that's a good queion. we are at the point where there ought to be nothing that we are not doing. we ought to be looking at everything. this spring i spent three days all across arizona where the vast majority of our problems
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are. that is not an unfixable problem. the problem is, we're not getting straight answers from the department of homeland security. we're not completing what we know will work. we're not training new border patrol agents to be as effective as they can because they don't have the language skills. we put them out there without the language skills. they are right. the senate hasn't done anything this year because the leader of the senate doesn't want to take his votes. his votes. there's an election coming up in 18 months. that's crazy. we haven't had a budget in 1/2 years. the reason we haven't had a budget is they don't want their member to cast a vote that might be cast in a way that might hurt them in election.
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host: another caller. caller: i wish you would add eye -- i wish you would add "investors' business daily" to your list of newspapers. host: ok. caller: i promise if they drafted you, you woo get at least one vote from connecticut.
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we would have to have a balanced budget amendment. you mail in a balance each year. as the government came out with this number,eople would be aware if the government was going to cost them more money or less money each year. i thought that was a reasonable way to approach thi i would be interested in your answer off the air. thank you. guest: you're welcome. it is a novel idea. i'm not sure i want the government to tell us what the tax rate would be every year, but it certainly would get us even gauged. you are talking about a modified flat tax for everybody. i think we oug to go on and do
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the national sales tax where -- host: in lieu of income tax? guest: yes. it is embedded into our income tax system and the products we export in this country and make us super competitive around the world, it would re-enhance manufacturing in this country, because it would offset, the taxes would be taken out of the products that we produce. it would be a great way for us to actually grow our economy. it is simple. people say they barter. we have $300 billion a year.
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people don't report income taxes. everybody would know what it costs. if you delegate to the states, it will be done more efficiently it will be done more efficiently andconomically. host: an example? guest: education. we have spent $2.6 trillion since the department of education has been open. we have bureaucrats in washington telling teachers and administrators in oklahoma how to take care of kids, what to do for kids who have no concern whatsoever them, and when you look at the metrics, susan, of the success of our educational system, there is not one parameter that's better. so why not take that money and just send it to the states and just send it to the states and let the states do what they do
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better than what we do. what we have done, we have lost our educational advantage, and it needs to be returned to the states. we can do that in the $9 april april. host: there is a question, if it host: there is a question, if it is that promising, senator co burn, why isn't there a bill? guest: there is a bill. they won't let it get to the floor.
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caller: i watch you on the senate floor all the time. senate floor all the time. i wish you would consider running for president. we need you. you are probably one of the most honest men in our government. i wish you could consider one suggestion. i would like to see a bill past that there wouldt be any campaigning until -- you couldn't possibly raise the money with us, and that would make it a lot better for our election system. thank you so much and please consider, please consider running. we would all vote for you. thank you.
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guest: the presidential race is 16, 18 months away. it i causing us not to focus on the problems at hand, and we are seeing people make decisions based on ae-election 16, 17 months from now. that's why i believe in term limits. i believe if we had term limits for the members of cgress, you wouldn't see as much foolishness. people wouldn't be trying to gain advantage partisan wise. they are -- we have seen a
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difference in how things work. the angst would be less. people would be coming here to get something done before they come home. host: the next caller is from san antonio. this is mike. you are on for the senator. . caller: your viewers can find stats and paste those into excel, and do the math
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themselves and find out that something like a 38% rate brings in 8.7 billion additional dollars in a year. it's peanuts. the only way to get where we need to be are, is to cut spending. guest: great point, in 2008, the stop 20% in this country paid 84% of all the taxes. paid 84% of all the taxes. so if you raise taxes, what you see is tax avoidance start happening. and what we know historically, the government can get 18.8 or 19.5% like in 2001, close to 20, with the tech bubble. but people start changing their behavior to lower that. and the other thing is that the government is twice the size it
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was 10 years. twice. even with the $9 trillion program i have to eliminate, the government will still be bigger than when it's implemented. think about that, you cut $9 trillion and still 63% bigger. which implies an 20% annualized government. we don't have an economy that can afford that and we can't afford the inefficiencies. host: next caller, ishama. caller: thank you, susan, i had sent an e-mail, and i wonder if you can pull that up. and senator coburn, thank you for taking on office, and i think it's something treasonist
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about having someone to take a pledge of oath of office, i would ask you to look into that. my concern although i believe we have a spending problem and we have a revenue problem. and that is an understanding of who owes who what. the operating budget owes the trust fund 2.6 trillion, and some think that was an illusion. but the debt collected wasn't an illusion, only when it was put into the budget for operating budget. so if funds are illusion, congress is a magician. an honest budget would require
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you to destroy individual budget and to find balanced budget for the operating budget and the trust funds. but only after operating budget has returned the iou's and the 110 trust funds, smaller ones paid for by fees. that's the only way to solve this problem, and please destroy that budget, it's honorable but i disagree with the way it's doing it. clear from and spent somewherelse d spent you hear social security does t r. the reason it needs to be reformed is because it isn't sustainable. we can't ever borrow the money in the markets because congress has stolen that money and spent it.
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we have to borrow against it. what we have to do is reform it so we have to borrow from those and make it sustainable. i think she is right. they use it to run that money. so she didn't have aax increase for it. ever since, we have been dishonest about the american people about the true cost of things and implied that we can afford to do things that we really can't. host: what are the main areas that contributed to the government. guest: every year the federal
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government has grown, the defense department, it is out of control. in terms of its purchasing of weapons systems. no one is spending money and how. there is a gray area of generalized government in all sorts of government. just wait. it is going to be about 45% of anybody that has real health insurance through their employer. we can find each agency and how it has grown. nasa, even though we don't have a manned space flight going on
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now after the shuttle without going through the russians, yet their -- not on getting anyon into space. i would make this point, susan. we -- host: there is an extreme spending gap between theealthy earnings and the stale wages of everyone else. guest: what are you going to do? right now, do you want the
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country to grow? we would tax those people that have the capital that are going to create the jobs in this country and give it to the government rather than decrease government spending and allow that money that they were going to tax to go into productive jobs? the reason you have $3 trillion sitting on the sidelines in businesses not being -- if you take all this money, we would still have about a $700 billion. let's take everybody's money, all of it that makes $250,000. that doesn't solve our problem. it doesn't come close to solving our problem. it is a pipe dream. we have to be careful. the thing that built this country is the hope that people can get ahead, that c make it a plateau. if you start saying, we're going to punish you for going there,
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there is not going to be jobs created, and we will continue to export all our jobs. host: next callers tiffany, republican in rancho, coucamunga, california. caller: i just wanted to say that i support some of your ideals, however as a middle class person, it is difficult for me to support you as far as your tax increases not being the 35 or 39% that they are supposed to because everybody else is hurting. . i really can't afford to give anymore. my salary is not in -- increasing. if your plan keeps your belly fat and i'm starving over here. i think we need to do a little something a little more
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balanced. thank you for taking my call. guest:: we need to lower rates ultimately to we get more money invested in the economy, and that will be $15 billion in revenue to the federal government and economic growth. when i say to you that the government is tce the size it was 10 years ago, you have to ask a question, is the problem revenue or is the problem been able to get out of control? the government has no business being in the business it is in.
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we have 180 programs for economic development that comes to the economic development of the states. there is area upon area where our hearts are big, great intentions, but the fact is, the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing. the very mistake would be, if we don't cut the $7 trillion or $8 trillion in my plan and you don't raise taxes, we are toast. we won't ever reverse it.
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we have more of a means testing on the upper hand. as you increase the taxes on social security, social security benefits. they have to pay them back out. we totally revamp the disability program. we're in the midst -- the senate we're in the midst -- the senate committee is totally investigating the i.r.s. on their disability program. whether it is a judge that had a 99% approval rating but did 72% of cases for two lawyers in virginia. that's going on across the country. social security administration is part of disability. 1-18 people in this country is collecting a disability check.
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i can tell you that 1-18 people in this country are n disabled. i can give you personal experiences. people have to look around. what happened to them? the law says if there is any job you can do in the economy, you are not disabled. ye we have had a system, the sts social security -- the social security system implies you are disabled and we have to prove you are not. it needs to be the other way. have undermined self-reliance in this country. in this country. now we hear people who can't do it. we can't because i'm not -- we have families with 14 members that are collecting social security checks on each? i mean, it is out of control. if someone is truly disabled, i want to make sure we're here to
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help them. but i am planning on coming at you if you are stealing from the system. .
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guest: we have the same group. it has been un-- it has been stifleled, and we need to unstie
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>> itsoevers mysteries even nicolas cage can't conquer. c-span's documentary, "the library of congress," sunday night at 9:00 eastern on c-span. >> house speaker john boehner
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said he'll back out of the talks with the president on the debt. after the speaker's announcement, the president met with reporters in the white house press room to discuss the situation. this is just over 30 minutes. >> good evening, everybody. about a half-hour ago, i got a call from speaker boehner that she he is going to be walking away from the negotiations we
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were having at the white house about the deficit reduction and the debt ceiling. i thought it would be useful to give you insilingt with where we were and why i think we should have moved forward. essentially, what we offered speaker boehner was over $1 trillion in cuts to discretionary spending, both domestic and defense. we then offered an additional $650 billion in cut tots entitlement programs, medicare, medicaid and social security. we believed that it was possible to shape those in a way that preserves the integrity of the system, made them available for the next generation and did not affect current beneficiaries in an adverse way. in addition, what we sought was
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revenues that were actually less than what the gang of six signed off on. so we had a bipartisan group of senatorings, including republicans in leadership in the senate calling for what effectively was about $2 trillion above the republican baseline that they'd been working off of. what we said was, give us $1.2 trillion in additional revenues, which could be accomplished without hiking taxes -- tax rates, but could simply be accomplished by eliminating loopholes, eliminating some deductions, and engaging in a tax reform process that could have lowered rates generally while broadening the base. let me reiterate what we were offering. we were offering a deal that called for as much
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discretionary savings as the gang of six, we were calling for taxes that were less than what the gang of six had proposed, and we had -- we were calling for modifications to entitlement programs that would have saved just as much over the 10-year window. in other words, this was an extraordinarily fair deal. if it was unbalanced, it was unbalanced in the direction of not enough revenue. but in the interest of being serious about that -- about deficit reduction, i was willing to take a lot of heat from my party and i spoke to democratic leaders yesterday and although they didn't sign off on a plan, they were willing to engage in serious negotiations. despite a lot of heat from a
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lot of interest groups around the country, in order to make sure that we actually dealt with this problem. it is hard to understand why speaker boehner would walk away from this kind of deal and frankly, if you look at the commentary out there, there are a lot of republicans puzzled as to why it couldn't get done. in fact, there are a lot of republican voters out there who are puzzled as to why it couldn't get done because the fact of the matter is, the vast majority of the american people believe we should have a balanced approach. now, if you do not have any revenues as the most recent republican plan that's been put forward both in the house and senate proposed, if you have no revenues at all, what that means is, more of a burden on seniors, more drastic cuts to
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education, more drastic cuts to research, a bigger burden on services that are going to middle class families across the country, and it essentially asks nothing of corporate jet owners, asks nothing of oil and gas companies, it asks nothing from folks like me who have done extremely well and can afford to do a little bit more. in other words if you don't have revenues, the entire thing ends up being tilted on the back of the poor and middle class families. and the majority of americans don't agree on that approach. so here's what we're going to do. we have now run out of time. i told speaker boehner, i told democratic leader nancy pelosi, i told harry reid and i told mitch mcconnell i want them
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here at 11:00 a.m. tomorrow. we have run out of time and they are going to have to explain to me how it is that we are going to avoid default. they can come up with any plans that they want and bring them up here and we will work on them, the only bottom line i have is that we have to extend this debt ceiling through the next election. into 2013. and the reason for it is we've now seen how difficult it is to get any kind of deal done. the economy has already weakened. and the notion that five or six or eight months from now we'll be in a bedder position to try to solve this problem makes no sense. in addition, if we can't come up with a serious plan for actual deficit and debt reduction and all we're doing is extending the debt ceiling for another six, seven, eight
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months, then the probability of downgrading u.s. credits are increased and that will be an adegreesal thing that will make it more difficult for us, more difficult for businesses to create jobs that the american people so desperately need. so they will come down here at 11:00 tomorrow. i expect them to have an answer in terms of how they intend to get this thing done over the course of the next week. the american people expect action. i continue to believe that the package that is balanced and actually has serious debt and deficit reduction is the right way to go and the american people, i think, are fed up with political posturing and an inability for politicians to take responsible action as
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opposed to dodge their responsibilities. with that, i'm going to take some questions. >> you said you want the leaders back here at 11:00 to give you an answer. what's your answer about the path forward? what path do you prefer? and also, sir, quickly, what does it say about your relationship with speaker bayne her >> with respect to my relationship with speaker boehner, we've always had a cordial relationship. we had very intense negotiations, aisle going to have my team brief you on how these negotiations proceeded. up until sometime early today, when i couldn't get a phone call returned, my expectation was that speaker boehner was going to be willing to go to his caucus and ask them to do the tough thing but the right thing. i think it has proven difficult for speaker boehner to do that. i've been left at the altar new a -- now a couple of times.
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one of the questions the republican party has to ask itself is, can they say yes to anything? can they say yes to anything? keep in mind, the republican party has said that the single most important thing facing our country is deficit and debt. we've now put forward a package that would significantly cut deficits and debt. it would be the biggest debt reduction package we've seen in a very long time. and if accomplish -- and it's accomplished without raising individual tax rates. it's accomplished in a way that is compatible with the no tax pledge that a bunch of these folks signed on to because we were mindful they had boxed themselves in. we tried to find a way for them to generate revenues in a way that did not put them in a bad
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spot. so the question is, what can you say yes to? if their only answer is what they've presented, which is a package that would effectively require massive cuts to social security, to medicare, to domestic spending, with no revenues whatsoever, not asking anything from the wealthiest in this country or corporations that have been making record profits, if that's their only answer, then it's going to be pretty difficult for us to figure out where to go. because the fact of the matter is, that's what the american people are looking for, some compromise. some willingness to put partisanship aside, some willingness to ignore talk radio or ignore activists in our respective bases and do the
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right thing. and to their credit, nancy pelosi, harry reid, the democratic leadership, they did not like the plan that we were proposing, but they were at least willing to engage in a conversation because they understood how important it is for us to actually solve this problem. and so far, i have not seen the capacity of the house republicans in particular to make those tough decisions. and so then the question becomes, where is the leadership? or alternatively, how serious are you about debt and deficit reduction? or do you simply want it as a campaign ploy to run into the next election. in terms of where we go next, here's the one thing we've got to do. at minimum, we've got to increase the debt ceiling. at minimum. i think we need to do more than that. but as i said before,
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republican leader mcconnell in the senate put forward a plan that said he was going to give me the responsibility to raise the debt ceiling. that way, folks in congress can vote against it but at least it gets done. i'm willing to take the responsibility. that's my job. so if they want to give me the responsibility to do it, i'm happy to do it. but what we're not going to do is to continue to play games and string this along for another eight, nine months and then have to go through this exoleers -- whole exercise all over again. that we're not going to do. >> mr. president, can you assure the american people they will get their social security checks on august 3? if not, who is to blame? >> well, when it comes to all the checks, not just social security, veterans, people with disabilities, about 70 million
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checks are sent out each month. if we default, then we're going to have to make adjustments and i'm already consulting with secretary geithner in terms of what the consequences would be. we should not even be in that kind of scenario. and if congress and in particular the house republicans are not willing to make sure that we avoid default, then i think it's fair to say that they would have to take responsibility for whatever problems arise in those payments because let me repeat, i'm not interested in finger points or in blame but i want the facts to speak for themselves. we have put forward a plan that is more generous to republican
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concerns than a bipartisan plan that was supported by a number of republican senators including at least one that is in republican leadership in the senate. now, i'll leave it up to the american people to make a determination as to how fair that is, and if the leadership cannot come to an agreement in terms of how we move forward, then i think they will hold all of us accountable. but that shouldn't be an option. that should not be an option. i'm getting letters from people who write me and say at the end of every month, i have to skip meals. senior citizens on social security who are hanging on by a thread. folks who have severe disabilities who are desperate, every single month, to try to figure out how they're going to try to make ends meet. but it's not just those folks.
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you've got business contractors. who are providing services to the federal government. who have to wonder, are they going to be able to get paid? and what does that do in terms of their payrolls? you've got just a huge number of people who in one way or another interact with the federal government. and even if you don't, even if you're not a recipient of social security, even if you don't get veterans' benefits or medical, imagine what it does to the economy when 70 million checks are put at risk? if you're a business out there, that's not good for economic growth. that's the number one concern of the american people. so we've got to get it done. it is not an option not to do it. >> are you confident? >> i am confident because i cannot believe congress would end up being that irresponsible
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that they would not send a package that avoids a self-inflicted wound to the economy at a time when things are so difficult. >> mr. president, can you explain why you were offering a deal that was more generous than the gang of six which you seemed to be embracing on tuesday? >> because what had become apparent was that speaker boehner had some difficulty in his caucus. there are a group of his caucus that actually think default would be ok and have said they would not vote for increasing the debt ceiling under any circumstances. and so i understand how they get themselves stirred up. and the sharp ideological lines they've drawn and ultimately my responsibility is to make sure that we avoid extraordinary
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difficulties to american people and american businesses. and so, you know, unfortunately, when you're in these negotiations, you don't get 100% of what you want. you may not even get 60% or 70% of what you want. but i was willing to try to persuade democratic leadership as well as democratic members of congress that even a deal that is not as balanced as i think it should be is better than no deal at all. and i was willing to persuade democrats that getting a handle on debt and deficit reduction is important to democrats just as much as it is to republicans and frankly, a lot of democrats are we are spaded by that. as i said at the last press conference, if you're a progressive, you should want to get the fiscal house in order
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because once we do, it allows us to have a serious conversation about the investments we need to make, like infrastructure, like rebuilding roads and bridges and airports, like investing more in college education, like making sure that we're focused on the kinds of research and technology that's going to help us win the future. it's a lot easier to do that when we've got our fiscal house in order. that's an argument i was willing to go out and make to a lot of skeptical democrats as you saw yesterday. but ultimately, that's what we should expect from our leaders. if this was easy, it would have already been done. and i think what a lot of the american people are so disappointed by is this sense that all the talk about responsibility, all the talk about the next generation, all the talk about making
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sacrifices, that when it comes to actually doing something difficult, folks walk away. last point i'll make here. i've gone out of my way to say that both parties have to make compromises. i think this whole episode has indicated the degree to which at least a democratic president has been willing to make some tough compromises. but when you guys go out and write your stories, this is not a situation where there was the usual food fight between democrats and republicans. a lot of democrats stepped up. in ways that were not advantageous politically. so we've shown ourselves willing to do the tough stuff. on an issue that republicans ran on.
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>> mr. president, there seems to be an extraordinary breakdown of trust involved here. and i wonder if you could address what we're hearing from republicans, which is that there was a framework and deal agreed with the chief of staff about a certain number of revenues, that the republicans had agreed to that, and after you brought that to your party and the goal line was moved? is this an example of where the goal line has moved and that's what led to this breakdown in trust? >> we'll walk you through this process, what this came down to was, there doesn't seem to be a capacity for them to say yes. now what is absolutely true is, we wanted more revenue than they had initially offered but as you'll see, the spending
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cuts that we were prepared to engage in were at least as significant as the spending cuts you've seen in a whole range of bipartisan proposals and we had basically agreed within $10 billion, $20 billion, we were within that range. so that wasn't the reason this thing broke down. we were consistent in saying that it was going to be important for us to have at least enough revenue that we could protect current beneficiaries of social security, for example or current beneficiaries of medicare. that we weren't slashing medicaid so sharply that states were going to have to throw people off the health care rolls -- roles. we were consistent in that. i want to be clear. i'm not suggesting that we had an agreement that was signed,
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sealed and delivered, the parties were still apart as recently as yesterday, but when you look at the overall package, there's no changing of the goal post here. there has been a consistency on our part in saying we're willing to make the tough cuts and we're willing to take on the heat for those difficult cuts, but there's got to be some balance in the process. what i said publicly is the same thing i said privately. i've done that consistently throughout this process. with respect to this breakdown in trust, i think that we have operated above board consistently. there haven't been any surprises. i think the challenge really has to do with the seeming inability, particularly in the house of representatives, to arrive at any kind of position that compromises any of their
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ideological preferences. none. you heard it. i'm not making this up. i think there are a number of members in that caucus who have been very clear about that. >> [inaudible] >> absolutely. but what you saw, and you'll see this from the description of the deal, essentially, what they agreed to give on is to get back to a baseline, this is getting technical, but there were about $800 billion in revenue that were going to be available and what we said was, when you've got a ratio of $4 in cuts for every $1 in revenue, that's hard to stop. and we think it's important to make sure that whatever
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additional revenue is in there covers the amount of money that's being taken out of entitlement programs. that's only fair. if i'm saying to future recipients of social security or medicare that you're going to have to make some adjustments, it's important that we're also willing to make adjustments when it comes to corporate jet owners or oil and gas producers or people who are making millions or billions of dollars. wendell. wendell's not here. wesley. >> you said your bottom line has been a big deal, that's not going to happen. are you going to be willing to go back to just raising the debt ceiling? >> well, i think i've been
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consistently saying here in this press room and everywhere that it is very important for us to raise the debt ceiling. we don't have an option on that point. so if that's the best that congress can do, then i will find a -- an extension of the debt ceiling that takes us through 2013. i don't think that's enough. i think we should do more. that's the bare minimum. that's the floor of what the american people expect us to do. so i'd like to see us do more and when i meet with the leadership tomorrow, i'm going to say, let's do more. but if they tell me, that's the best they can do, then i will sign an extension that goes to 2013 and i will make the case to the american people that we've got to continue going out there and solving this problem. it's the right thing to do. and it's time to do it. we can't keep on putting it
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off. >> you said speaker boehner didn't return phone calls this afternoon, could you elaborate on that? >> i'm less concerned about me having to wait for my phone call returned than i am about the message i received when the -- when i got the phone call. >> the marks are closed right now, are you going to be reaching out to people on wall street, is so when monday morning comes we don't see a reaction. >> i think it's important that the leadership understands that wail street will be opening on monday and we better have answers in the next several days. >> >> what do you say to people on wall street who might find this a lit alarming? >> well, here's what i say. i remine confident that we will get an extension of the debt limit and we will not default.
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i am confident of that. i am less confident at this point that people are willing to step up to the plate and actually deal with the underlying problem of debt and deficits. that requires tough choices. that's what we were sent here to do. the debt ceiling, that's a formality. historically, it hasn't been an issue. it's an unpleasant vote but it's been a routine vote has done periodically. it was raised 18 times when ronald reagan was president. ronald reagan said default was not an option, it would be hugely damaging to the prestige of the united states. and we shouldn't even consider it. so that's the easy part. we should have done that six months ago. the hard part is actually dealing with the underlying debt and deficit. and doing it in a way that's
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fair. that's all the american people are looking for. some fairness. i can't tell you how many letters and emails i get, including from republican voters, who say, look, we know that neither party is blameless when it comes to how this debt and deficit drops -- develops. there's been a lot of blame spread around. but we sure hope we don't just balance the budget on the backs of seniors. we sure hope that we're not flashing our -- slashing our commitment to make sure kids can go to college. we sure hope that we're not suddenly throwing a bunch of poor kids off the medicaid roles so they can't get basic preventive services that keep them out of the emergency room. that's all they're looking for, is some fairness. what you're going to hear, i suspect, is, well, if you -- if the senate is prepared to pass
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the cap, cut and balance bill, the republican plan, then somehow we can solve this problem. it turns out actually that the plan that speaker boehner and i were talking about was comparable in terms of deficit reduction. the difference was that we didn't put all the burden on the people who were least able to protect themselves, who don't have lobbyists in this town, who don't have lawyers working on the tax code for them. working stiffs out there, ordinary folks, who are struggling every day and they know they're getting a raw deal. and they're mad at everybody about it. they're mad at democrats and they're mad at republicans because they know somehow, no matter how hard they work, they don't seem to be able to keep up. and what they're looking for is somebody who is willing to look
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out for them. that's all they're looking for. and you know, for us not to be keeping those folks in mind every single day, when we're up here, for us to be more worried about what some talk radio show host says or what some columnist says, or what pledge we signed back when we were trying to run or worrying about having a primary fight, for us to be thinking in those terms, instead of thinking about those folks, is inexcusable. the american people are just desperate for folks who are willing to put aside politics just for a minute and try to get some stuff done. so when somebody asked, why was i willing to go along with a
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deal that wasn't optimal from my perspective? it was because even if i didn't think the deal was perfect, at least it would show that this place is serious. that we're willing to take on a responsibility, even when it's tough. that we're willing to step up even when the folks who helped get us elected may disagree. and at some point, i think if you want to be a leader, you've got to lead. thank you very much. >> fom lowing -- following the president's remarks, speaker of the house john boehner met with reporters in the house to explain why he decided to end the debt and deficit reduction
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talks and focused on working out a compromise with senate leadership. this is 10 minutes. >> good evening. first i want to say no one wants to compromise the full, fate -- the full faith and credit of the united states and i do not. i have confidence in the bipartisan leadership of congress that can come together and ensure we have an agreement that will allow the country to avoid default and meets the principles we have outlined, spending cuts that must be greater than the increase in the debt limit, and no tax increases. discussions we've had with the white house have broken down for go reasons.
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first, they insisted on raising taxes. we had an agreement on a revenue number. a revenue number we thought we could reach based on a flatter tax code with lower rates and a broader base. that would produce more economic growth, more employees, and more taxpayers. and a tax system that was more efficient in collecting the taxes that were due the federal government. let me just say that the white house moved the goal post. there was an agreement on some additional revenues until yesterday when the president demanded $400 billion more, which was going to be nothing more than a tax increase on the american people. and i can tell you that leader cantor and i were very disappointed in this call for higher revenue.
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secondly, they refused to get serious about cutting spending and making the tough choices that are facing our country on entitlement reform. that's the bottom line. i take the same oath of office as the president of the united states. i have the same responsibilities as the president of the united states. and i think that's, for -- i think that's for both of us to do what's in the best interest of our country. i can tell you it's not in the best interest of our country to raise taxes in this difficult economy, it's not in the best interest of our country to ignore the serious spending challenges we face. i want to say, this is a serious debate. it's a debate about jobs and it's a debate about our economy and frankly, it's also a big debate about the future of our country. you know, until recently, the president was demanding that
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the congress increase the debt limit with no strings attached. as a matter of fact, treasury secretary sent me a letter two days after we were sworn in in january demanding we give him a clean increase in the debt limit. i immediately responded and told the treasury secretary the american people would not tolerate a clean increase in the debt ceiling unless there were serious spending cuts attached and real reforms from the way we spent the american people's money. i went to new york city in maye, gave a speech to the new york economic club where i outlined the challenges we were facing and i made it clear that we would not increase the debt limit without cuts that exceeded that increase in the debt limit, that there would be no new taxes and that there would be serious spending reforms put in place. it's time to get serious. i'm confident that the bipartisan leaders here in
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congress can act, the white house won't get serious, we will. >> your own aides say the package of cuts on the table was worth about $3 trillion. how can you say the white house wasn't serious about spending cuts. that's more than you were asking for initially? >> we put plan after plan on the table. the house passed its budget, we had our plan out there. the house passed the cut, cap, and balance. never once did the president come to the table with a plan. it was always -- we were always pushing. you know, when you get into negotiations, sometimes it's good to back away from the tree and take a look at the forest. yesterday afternoon, after the president demanded more revenue in this package, i backed away from the tree to take a look at the forest. i spent most of the morning and
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afternoon consulting with my fellow leaders, members of our conference and others about the way to go forward. and i was -- i want to tell you what i said several weeks ago. dealing with the white house is like dealing with a bowl of jell-o. i'm not going to get into the partisan sniping that we heard earlier. but i can tell you that there was every effort in the world to avoid the real cuts that we need to make in order to preserve the fiscal integrity of our country and frankly the real cuts that needed to be made, that need to be made to preserve our entitlement programs which are important programs to tens of millions of americans. >> i understand your frustration with the white house but how can you concede you'll -- say you'll forge an agreement with the house and
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senate without the white house? >> i think we can work together to forge an agreement and i'm hopeful the president will work with us on that agreement. >> president obama said you did not return his phone call. did this damage your relationship with the president? >> the president and i have gotten to know each other pretty well over the last six months. i can tell you in all our conversations, they were respectful, they were firm, they were -- there was frustration on both sides. but i don't believe that our relationship is permanently damaged. >> the president has invited you to the white house tomorrow morning. are you going to go? >> yes yes, ma'am. >> do you trust the president, you say he backed away from an offer he made, do you trust him as a negotiator? >> i do trust him as a negotiator but you have to understand that every step of this process was difficult. you know, there's a reason why
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we have two political parties. there's a reason why the president and i come from different political parties. the president believes in the size of government, in more taxes from the american people. every weekend, when i'm not stuck here in washington, d.c., i'm out somewhere in america and i'm out around my district and i run into people, small business people, who don't understand why they pay the taxes they pay. don't understand the regulations coming out of washington impeding their ability to grow their business and hire more people. and when you boil all of this down, yes we've got to save the fiscal future for our country but we've got to get our economy going again and got to give people confidence in our economy and the way to do that is to have real spending cuts now. >> the differences in revenue that it sounds like you and the white house have, about $400
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billion over 10 years, that's about $40 billion a year, which considering the context of the federal budget is not really that much. the stakes are so high, how did the talks break down over this relatively insignificant number. >> it would have had to come from increasing taxes on the people we want to invest in our economy. >> the president suggested you walked away from this because you can't control your caucus. we have heard republicans say default isn't something they're concerned about and don't want to see the debt ceiling raised under any circumstances. is it true that you were pressured to walk away from something you would otherwise have stuck with? >> absolutely not. i gave the president's proposal serious consideration. there was an agreement. there was an agreement with the white house at $800 billion in revenue. it's the president who walked
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away from his agreement and demanded more money at the last minute. that is -- and the only way to get that extra revenue was to raise taxes. >> mr. speaker, at this point, what's the likelihood of doing a short-term debt ceiling increase? is that something you and the president discussed? >> we never discussed a short-term increase of debt limit, i'm not interested in that, i believe that we have two challenges. we have to increase the debt limit and we have to deal with our deficit and our debt. the sooner we do that, the better off our country will be. >> we began today with three possible options, cut, cap, and balance, the big deal, and mcconnell-reid. cut, cap, and balance has failed in the senate, the big deal has collapsed, what else is there? >> i'll be working with bipartisan congressional leaders and i'm confident that
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congress can act next week and not jeopardize the full faith and credit of the united states government. >> the senate voted on legislation the house passed yerl -- earlier in the week. the senate would defeat the measure along strict party lines. here's the final hour of the floor debate in the senate. privileges during the consideration of the bill. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: in about an hour we'll vote on the so-called cut, cap, and balance legislation. as i said before, in fact just a
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few minutes ago, this is one of the worst pieces of legislation to ever be placed on the floor of the united states senate. it violates the spirit of our constitution and certainly what we're trying to accomplish here in washington. and we as a senate refuse to waste even one more day on this piece of legislation. we have 11 days left until the united states simply stops paying its bills. and, frankly, we've wasted too much time already on this. the united states house of representatives needs to know this legislation has expired. it's gone. republicans wanted to vote on their radical plan to kill medicare and social security before they would consider helping democrats avert this crisis n. an hour they'll get this chance. at least one republican senator went toefr a large gathering in the house of representatives, i'm told, and said we're going to get at least 60 votes on
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this. please, mr. president, their extreme plan would within 25 years cut in half every federal benefit on the books including social security, medicare, medicaid, military pay, veterans benefits and much more. meanwhile it would erect constitutional amendments for special interests, the millionaires and billionaires who are able to buy those yachts and corporate jets for which they get tax benefits. republicans demand we pass this radical proposal before they even consider cooperating with democrats to avert a crisis that would rock the globe. they are demanding the death of medicare and social security as its ransom. we all know their failed prescription will fail here in the united states senate. they do not have the votes to pass a plan that would pwalt
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budget on the -- balance the budget on the backs of seniors and middle-class families. and so we must move on, mr. president. i want to be very, very clear. there is simply no more time to waste debating and voting on measures that have no hopes of becoming law. we have no more time to waste playing partisan games. as the saying goes, indecision becomes decision with time. our time is running out before this gridlock, this refusal by the other side to move an inch toward compromise becomes a decision to default on our debt. the markets are already reacting to our inaction. ever responsible voice, including those of my republican colleagues, many of them at least, warned much worse is to come if we don't take action and take it soon. that's a risk we can't afford to take. i ask my republican colleagues again to join democrats in seeking common ground.
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the american people have demanded it of us. overwhelmingly they have said the national default is a serious problem and that is an understatement and both parties of congress must meet in the middle. we all know, mr. president, there are talks going on between president obama and speaker boehner. i wish them well. we await their efforts. i'm told there will be revenue measures in that. if that's the case, we know constitutionally the matter must start in the house of representatives. i say to both the president and to the speaker here on the senate floor, representing my democrats, and i'm confident many republicans, be very careful. show a lot of caution as this negotiation goes forward because any arrangement must be fair to all america, not just the wealthy.
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would the chair announce proceedings for this morning. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the leadership time is reserved. under the previous order, the senate will resume consideration of the motion to proceed to h.r. 2560, which the clerk will report. the clerk: motion to proceed to the consideration of h.r. 2560, an act to cut, cap, and balance the federal budget. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the time until 10:00 a.m. shall be equally divided between the two leaders or their designees. the senator from north dakota. mr. conrad: mr. president, in about an hour we are going to vote on a package that was sent this body by the house of representatives. let me first comment on the context within which we consider this legislation. i think it's very important to remind our colleagues and remind citizens across the country who are perhaps watching and
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listening that our country is borrowing more than 40 cents of every dollar that we spend. that is unsustainable. it cannot be continued for long. mr. president, i think all of us know that the circumstance that we are in is extraordinarily serious. here's what the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff told us just a year ago. our national debt is our biggest national security threat. mr. president, i believe that that's the case. our gross debt now is approaching 100% of the gross domestic product of the united states. we've not seen a debt that high since after world war ii. mr. president, it is extraordinarily important that we take on this debt threat. it is extraordinarily important for our country's future economic well-being that we
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change course. mr. president, the legislation that has been sent to us by the house is one of the most ill considered, ill-conceived, internally inconsistent pieces of legislation that i have seen in my 25 years here in the united states senate. it has all the earmarks of something that was hastily thrown together, really pieced it together. and this legislation includes an amendment to the constitution of the united states. mr. president, we are better than this. the congress is better than this. certainly the country is better than this. let me just be brief. the fundamental problems with the balanced budget amendment are as follows: one, it restricts the ability to respond to economic downturns, having
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all the potential to make an economic downturn even more serious. it uses social security funds to calculate balance and subjects that important program to the same cuts as other federal spending, even know it is funded separately. mr. president, it shifts the ultimate decisions on budgeting in this country to unelected judges and unaccountable judges. finally, it provides for state ratification process that could take years to complete. we need a long-term debt resolution now, not in the sweet by-and-by. mr. president, the proposal before us has all of the potential to turn a recession into a depression. why do i say that? because, mr. president, it would